Thursday, January 28, 2010
(For review of 'Lessons in
French', see previous post)
Today, Apprentice Writer is delighted to welcome historical author Laura Kinsale to the blog.
Ms. Kinsale was kind enough to take time from promoting her long-awaited new publication to give readers here a glimpse inside the writerly life.
First things first: the cover. Did you choose the title, and did you have input about art?
I did choose the title. I was looking for something that would evoke the lightness of the story, and since Trev did once give Callie lessons in French (and a lot more!) it seemed appropriate.
I gave some general ideas for the cover, and asked that it be colorful. I think it is quite lovely.
What comes to you first? The hero? Heroine? Ending? One-liners?
The characters always come to me first, although usually it's a general concept of a character in a situation. In the case of LESSONS IN FRENCH, I knew I wanted to have a very shy wallflower for a heroine. Depending on which I start with, hero or heroine - and I've started with both - I then work out the opposite lead. The idea of a wallflower suggested the opposite - a roguish, adventurous hero. And that's definitely what Trev turned out to be!
My favorite scene is any where Trev is trying to lighten Callie's or his mother's mood. He has such a flair for outrageous, self-deprecating banter that both ladies can't help but be charmed even while understanding perfectly well what he is trying to do. What was your favorite scene?
Well, my very favorite scene is at the end, but that would be a spoiler. I think my second favorite would be the scene where Trev explains to Callie and his mother why Hubert the bull was hiding in his mother's kitchen. As the duchesse says, after Trev has finished his convoluted excuses, "Well done, Seigneur. Our brains are quite cooked, now."
Yes! Those are two excellent scenes! I loved Trev's luggage comment and Callie's reply.
How does a typical writing day for you look? Has it changed since Book#1?
I have absolutely no typical writing day. Unlike many writers, I have never been able to maintain a schedule of any kind. A typical day, at the moment, starts with heading to the barn to ride. Then I often do a short hike with my dog, or take him to the dog park - and by then, I'm pretty tired! It's very easy at that moment to sit down and start wasting time at the computer. But when I'm interested in the work in progress, I'm happy to write on it. That's really the key for me. I have to be in that 'zone'. And don't ask me how to get there, because I don't know! I do know that Twitter and email are not the way.
I very much look forward to telling my husband that in order to succeed as an author, I will require a barn, horse, and dog. He thought all he needed to provide was moral support!
How does your family feel about you being an author?
My dog thinks we should live all day at the dog park, and resents all my time at the computer. Other than that, I have my family's unqualified support.
Your best writing habit? Worst writing vice?
Hmm, that's an interesting question. I don't really think of myself as having writing habits. I guess the best 'habit' I have is to visualize myself from inside the heads of my characters - feel what they feel and see what they see.
My worst vice shows up when I'm tired. I think to myself "I'll take a short break" and then I end up wasting a lot of time and not getting back to work.
Social networking: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing or Blessing in Disguise?
Definitely a wolf - I saw through the sheep's costume from the start. Not that it helps!
Who is your writing idol and why?
SF writer C.J. Cherryh. I love her characters, her stories and her writing style. Also she's prolific, which I wish I were.
Best piece of advice for aspiring writers?
Observe everything. Look for details about everything you see, about people, places, news, sentences, word choices, plot twists. Details are things like the way shadows of streelights pass under your car as you drive along a highway at night. Be interested in life. Read, but don't limit your experience to reading or online. Live in the real world and notice how it feels.
Good advice. It's all to easy to spend huge chunks of time online in the name of learning about the biz. Anything else you'd like to share with Apprentice Writer's readers?
Yes, I'll share a quote from Elizabeth Law, the publisher at Egmont Books, when she was asked about Author Promotion at the Shrinking Violets blog:
"Just write your heart out. I promise you that's what matters. I would much, much, much rather find a great, unusual, distinctive book by a phobic writer covered in oozing sores who lives in a closet than a decent but not amazingly original book by the world's best promoter. I could sell the former a lot better too!"
Point taken, though I'm not dedicated enough to acquire oozing sores. Will compromise by spending more time in my closet and checking out the Shrinking Violets blog.
Thank you so much, Ms. Kinsale for your time and insights.
To learn more about the author, go here.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
LESSONS IN FRENCH
Introverted rural heiress and disenfranchised French duke with a shared history meet again, burdened by personal and political events since their parting.
Title - Very good. Short, memorable, relevant to content on multiple levels. Art - the trend of lady with bared leg culminating in flexed foot continues. Altogether kind of middle-of-the-road: not heinous, but not especially striking either. Was her gown supposed to be French Blue? If so, it needed more gray in the mix - however, Apprentice Writer concedes that French Blue is a hue better suited to walls than gowns.
How much did Apprentice Writer love LIF? Let her count the ways:
1. The heroine. So introverted, yet so resourceful when the situation called for it (and boy, did the situation ever keep calling for it.) So mortified by her inexplicable thrice-jilted state, yet so shrewd in how to take the personalities of those around her into account to achieve results desired. So fixated in her self-image as a non-descript mouse, yet quietly drawing the positive regard of all who mattered (and some who didn't.) Readers who enjoyed Olivia "What Happens in London" Bevelstoke's habit of composing lists to work through her frustrations (AW certainly did) will be likewise entertained by the daydreams Callie concocts to combat feelings of impotence and anger created by the restrictions of her daily life.
2. The hero. Tormented, too charming for his own good, made almost disastrously reckless by jealousy, utterly steadfast in his own way. A fascinating mix of impulsiveness and principles. AW wants to say 'lovable' except that makes him sound like a puppy, or perhaps one of the bull calves that keep cropping up, and AW doesn't think that puppies or bull calves are as passionate or dashing as Trev. Then again, what does she know? The book is dedicated to a hound. One imagines there must be a good reason for that.
3. The secondary characters. Regular readers of this space know how important they are to AW. She was pleased with both human and animal ones. The gravely ill mother - wonderful! The antagonist - went from irredeemable to creating odd flashes of sympathy and hope that something might be done with him. The bull - loved him, though AW has never been a bovine person regardless of how unendingly cute baby Norman was in 'City Slickers'. Were all believable and uncliched.
4. The writing. It flowed so well. No spots that jarred with anachronisms, out of proportion emotion, dragging introspection, questions about the mechanics of how something just happened. And the dialogue - oh, the dialogue! AW desperately longed to have someone to talk with like that.
5. And finally, the big kahuna: The funny. AW's copy is overwhelmingly dog-eared with little gems. She will limit herself to a few:
"She had wrestled with the question (of what could be wrong with her to be jilted three times) herself. Indeed, she and her father and her sister and their acqusaintance and all the local gossips and probably two or three of the wiser village goats had spent a good deal of time dissecting the matter. No satisfactory answer had been agreed upon.
Her father had attributed it to the general decline of British Manhood into Riot and Villany. Her sister Hermione felt that Callie showed a deplorable lack of respect for the fashion in caps. The gossips largely blamed it upon Napoleon. During the French wars, they had blamed everything on Napoleon, and even five years after Waterloo he had not outlived his usefulness in that regard. The goats, being commoners, very properly kept their opinions to themselves."
"...Are you a great heiress, then?"
"Well, yes," she admitted..."After the last settlement, it toted up to quite a sum."
"How much?" he asked bluntly.
"Eighty thousand," she said in a smothered voice.
"So you see," she said, lifting her face, "I'm hardly an object for compassion."
"May I make you the object of my violent and unrestrained ardor?" He made a motion as if to loosen his neck-cloth. "I'm a bit tired, but perfectly willing."
"My calling hours are from twelve to three, if you wish to importune me violently," Callie said, dropping a quick curtsy, "but now I must see to your mother."
And this, the phrase that will join Joanna Bourne's expression of strong emotion ("God's avenging chickens!") in AW's hall of fame:
"...he cried havoc and let slip the hens of war."
Callie and Trev did not have sufficient foresight to provide siblings who are both alive and single, dashing the possibility of re-entering this world through their books. Perhaps some obscure cousins could pop up and provide a reunion with Callie and Trev in future pages? Perhaps Callie's sister can become a widow? Or couldn't an author of this calibre transform the antagonist into a convincing hero of his own story?
This book is destined for the Laughter Keeper Shelf, but it will need to wait to take up its place there. First AW is going to read it again.
But does it make you laugh? YES, YES, YES!
The last time a historical made AW laugh so consistently from start to finish was when she discovered Lindsey Davis' "Falco" series of imperial Rome. Giving LIF to someone feeling down or disheartened would be humanitarian service.
COME BACK TOMORROW FOR Q & A WITH THE AUTHOR!
The Fine Print: AW received an Advance Reader's Copy from Sourcebooks - and she's so glad she did.
"Lady Callista Taillefaire was a gifted wallflower. By the age of seven-and-twenty, she had perfected the art of blending into the wallpaper and woodwork so well that she never had to dance, and only her most intimate friends greeted her. She could sit against the pink damask in the ballroom or sit against the green silk in the refreshment chamber. She didn't even have to match to be overlooked."
Next: Apprentice Writer's review.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
With the help of an impartial judge (junior apprentice writer #3) and ultra high-tech random selection process (strips of paper in popcorn bowl), the following commenters where chosen to receive a copy of 'Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, The Last Man in the World', courtesy of Sourcebooks:
Huzzah! Confetti! Streamers!
Winners, please send your snail mail info to mayamissani AT yahoo DOT ca so Apprentice Writer can forward to the publisher. Please stop by later and tell us what you thought of the book!
Thanks everyone who participated, and come back for another historical giveaway soon!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Welcome to Apprentice Writer, Abigail!
1. What comes to you first? Hero? Heroine? Ending?
Actually, it's usually a scene that comes to me with great clarity, and then I build the story and characters around it. In the case of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, it was the scene where Darcy comes home injured and Elizabeth runs out to meet him, having finally realized that she loves him. The central scene keeps playing in my head until I figure out the story around it.
2. My favorite scene in the book is when Darcy and Elizabeth suddenly realize how badly they've each misinterpreted something about the other. It was an emotional scene for both, but my heart really bled for Darcy - trying so hard and meaning so well, yet frequently having people take his actions and motives the wrong way, partially due to having a specific type of brain wiring. The scene moved me almost to tears, because my son has a similar type of brain wiring and it has caused him vast amounts of grief, socially and academically. Maybe books like this can help readers develop greater understanding about this kind of thing.
What's your favorite scene?
I'm particularly fond of the whole sequence where Darcy is ill. It's the first time he and Elizabeth have a chance to engage in affectionate banter, and there's a lot of emotion for both of them and hope for the future.
3. How does a typical writing day look? Has it changed since Book #1?
There are no typical writing days! Between my part-time job and taking care of my kids, writing gets squeezed in wherever it can. Often I stay up after the rest of the family is in bed so I can write for an hour or two.
4. How does your family feel about you being an author?
They've been great about it. My husband has been wonderfully supportive since the beginning, even when it was just a time-consuming hobby, and my kids are proud of my books. The only problem has been one time when my son, who has Asperger's syndrome and has problems with social skills, told his English teacher she was wrong about something in his essay because his mom is a published novelist and I'd said it was OK. Oops!
5. Your best writing habit? Worst writing vice?
Probably my best writing habit is that I listen to my characters. They're always doing unexpected things that aren't in my plot, and usually they're right and I'm wrong. My worst vice is excessive self-criticism and its sidekick perfectionism. I can get so hung up on getting a sentence right that I end up not writing anything. I'm much better off if I just plow through a first draft breaking every writing rule, then go back and fix it.
6. Social networking: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing or Blessing in Disguise?
Tricky question! I thinkit's a bit of both. It's great to be able to connect with readers in a different way, but sometimes it opens writers to unexpected attacks. It can also eat enormous amounts of time that could be better spent writing.
7. Nightstand inpsection! What was the last ____ you read?
Contemporary: 'Too Good to be True' by Kristan Higgins
Historical: 'At Long Last Love' by Mary Balogh
Paranormal/UF/Fantasy: 'Sea Glass' by Maria Snyder
Mystery/Suspense: 'Suspense and Sensibility' by Carrie Bebris
8. Who is your writing idol and why?
Jane Austen, of course! She combines a brilliant satiric wit with caring observation, and I find new things every time I read her books.
9. Which literary character do you wish you'd thought of first?
10. Best piece of advice for aspiring writers?
Write the story that's in your heart. not the story you think is most likely to sell. The story in your heart is the one that will have the most life and will move readers the most.
11. Anything else you'd like to share with Apprentice Writer's readers?
Keep believing in your writing! And thanks for having me.
Thanks for giving us a glimpse of writer life, Abigail. Loved your Severus Snape answer, and your son is a hero, utterly convinced of his mom's superiority as he is.
Readers, you can learn more about the author and her 'Pemberly Variations' series here.
Comment today for a chance to win 1 of 2 copies of 'Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the Last Man in the World', kindly provided by Sourcebooks.
Double your chances by commenting on yesterday's review!
The Fine Print:
1. US and Canadian addresses only, please.
2. No P.O. Boxes
3. Leave a way to get in touch if your name does not link to a site.
4. Contest ends 21 January 2010.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
MR. FITZWILLIAM DARCY, THE LAST MAN IN THE WORLD
What if the most famous proposal rejection in literary history had been accepted?
Title: Excellent. Iconic hero name + instantly recognizable quote fragment = win.
Art: Semi-headless man looking neckless as well due to period fashion, wearing muddy-colored clothing, slouched posture in contrast to usual bearing of hero, Bonapartesque right hand placement. The only nice touch - watch fob showing heroine's portrait - undone by odd placement. This book deserved better.
The wave of stories using Austen as a springboard is gaining momentum. There is now a Jane-homage in almost any shape the reader may desire: time travel, newly discovered relatives, sleuthing, jaunts to other continents, espionage, paranormal. This story stayed more true to the original novel, imagining how drastically (or not?) a different decision would have altered the course of events and ultimate ending for the familiar group of characters.
It was an entertaining ride. The author is highly skilled at using the language and evoking the atmosphere of the original works, so that Apprentice Writer never once felt jolted by an anachronistic-sounding word or modern-feeling situation. AW was also intrigued by how the author would deal with some key moments, and pleased at how the previous actions were changed but in a way that felt satisfying and genuine for the characters. An encounter with ever-exasperating Lydia and reliably villainous Wickham was especially cathartic.
In the original, Pemberly seems like a mirage, too good to be true. It was nice to get to know that setting, and also to see more of the easy, loving relationship between Darcy and his sister. But most of all, it was wonderful to delve deeper into Darcy's character, and realize all over again what an unparalleled heroic figure he makes.
WARNING! MILD SPOILERS!
After her arrival at Pemberly, Elizabeth spends almost all her time on the estate, with only Darcy, the servants, and later her sister-in-law for company. We already know that there is tension between the spouses, the sisters-in-law are more or less strangers to each other, and the servants don't count due to difference in social station, nor visits with tenant families for the same reason. There are no descriptions of trips to the local village, visits at neighboring homes, gatherings, or entertaining anyone beyond a brief stopover by her aunt and uncle. The story takes place with Elizabeth in virtual social isolation.
It wasn't hard to imagine possible writerly reasons: using limited wordcount for primary story, increasing tenstion between spouses to enhance the emotion, the logic of life on Pemberly being on a very different social level from her accustomed environment where she'd known everyone nearby all her life and participated in all sorts of gatherings. But even theouh Elizabeth's much more solitary state made sense in a way, it was strange that she herself didn't seem to recognize the effect this had on her. Also, part of the fun of Austenworld is how the characters bounce off each other and their unique conversations and interpretations of each other's behavior. To have the story remain so heavily concentrated on Elizabeth and Darcy alone made the story not seem quite as well-rounded as this reader would have preferred. Perhaps the next volume from this author will reflect social aspects of Austenworld more.
END SPOILER WARNING!
A lovely visit back to the world of P & P, where hero and heroine still push themselves and each other to figure out what pride and prejudice mean. This is a story to make any reader who ever loved Darcy love him even more.
Do you like Austen-inspired novels? Prefer the original? Think Apprentice Writer has no clue about art?
Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of this story from the publisher,
and come back tomorrow for chat with the author
and a chance to win another copy!
The Fine Print:
1. US and Canada only, no P.O. Boxes please.
2. Leave a way to get in touch if your name does not link to a site.
3. Contest closes 21 January 2010.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
“In a moment, when we leave the trees, you will be able to see the house,” said Mr. Darcy. “There it is, across the valley – Pemberley House.”
Elizabeth smiled at him dutifully, then looked out the window of the carriage where he was pointing. The house was large and handsome, even at this distance, and its situation on a rising hill above the water was lovely. Of course, she had expected as much, having heard its praises sung by Miss Bingley as well as Darcy himself. In other circumstances, she might have been delighted by it."
Tomorrow: Review of 'Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, Last Man in the World' and giveaway!
Day after tomorrow: Interview with the author, and another giveaway!
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
JULIE & JULIA: MY YEAR OF COOKING DANGEROUSLY
JULIE & JULIA: 365 DAYS, 524 RECIPES, 1 TINY APARTMENT KITCHEN
Back Bay Books, 2005
SUCH A PRETTY FAT: ONE NARCISSIST'S QUEST TO DISCOVER IF HER LIFE MAKES HER ASS LOOK BIG; OR, WHY PIE IS NOT THE ANSWER
1. Urbanite finds purpose in goal to recreate every recipe in legendary gourmand's cookbook within a year and blogging about it.
2. Urbanite finds insight in goal to lose weight, gain health, and discover how her own and other people's attitudes towards food and bodies help and hinder.
1. The current edition sacrificed the subtitle in favor of showing the actors portraying the characters in the movie, and is done in attractive green and gold tones. The cover that Apprentice Writer prefers is the original teal background with bowl of either whipped cream or egg white and a little egg beater lying down in exhaustion from the endurance sport that is whipping by hand. She also prefers the mathematical subtitle which captured the essential content of the book.
2. This is the author's third book, and the cover follows the precedent set by the first two of a cartoon-like color-blocked icon from the story on white background, with the title in what looks like hand-written cursive script. The pattern has become an eye-catching trademark for the author, as have the multiple subtitles.
1. The author was one of the first bloggers to get a book deal (followed by a movie deal). That is an accomplishment, but it was built on a bigger one - achieving the goal of recreating every dish in Julia Child's legendary cookbook. AW is a basic-to-lower-end-of-middling cook, able to mash potatoes from scratch, bake using live yeast and rolling pins, and invent her own soup recipes. But the sheer amount of technique, muscle power, and gross tonnage of plain old dishwashing this project involved was staggering. Also, bravery: though AW often felt hungry reading the book, some dishes - the lamb deliberately left to decay for a specified amount of time, for example, or anything involving aspic - called for just as much intrepid explorer sense as slashing through a jungle per machete. The author brought it all skillfully to life, weaving together a tale that was equal parts culinary feat of strength, reflection on the nature of marriage and friendship, and personal diary. Her timeline was interspersed with anecdotes from the life of her idol, a nice touch, and AW enjoyed many of the descriptions such as Julia Child being like '....an ebullient golden retriever'.
2. In contrast to Julie Powell, Jen Lancaster's story never once made AW feel hungry. This makes sense, given that the author's goal was to make food less alluring, more managable. She writes in a very easy to read, conversational style, detailing the environmental, philosophical, and psychological pitfalls a person trying to lose weight battles with. Her observations are by turns thoughtful, funny, exasperated, aware of the odd logic dieters may employ, and (for the purposes of the story) trapped in the odd logic dieters may employ. She tries and rejects a series of diets and weight-loss methods on the search of the one that will work for her, showing how different each dieter can be from another. The part that AW liked best was the author's decisive rejection of pressure on plus-sized women to feel badly about themselves due to weight, and her refusal to let her self-esteem sag because of her pounds. You go, girl. AW also liked the fact that loss motivation was health-driven rather than guilt- or appearance-driven. The author recognized that her 'healthy self esteem' might be contributing to ill health, and decided to do something about it. More power to her. Because thin does not automatically equate with healthy. No matter our weight, we can all do something to work towards a more healthy personal future.
The multiple titles hint at a stylistic idiosyncracy; current 'Rules of Writing' fashion dictates that parentheses are out, out, out, and that if something is not important enough to be included in the main body of the sentence, it is not important enough to be included at all. The author seems to have taken a tongue-in-cheek literal application of this 'rule', and spun it. She eschews parentheses - but it is a rare page that doesn't have a footnote or two. After AW got used to it, it became kind of entertaining.
Writing a memoir is a brave thing to do. The writer is essentially allowing flocks of strangers to look into his or her mind, emotions, motivations, actions, choices, mistakes, etc. etc. and leaving him or herself wide open to after-the-fact backseat driving. So kudos to memoir-writers for their inherent courage.
Having said that - a person who chooses not only to lay their life open to public scrutiny, but wants other to pay for the priviledge of reading about it, should not be surprised if readers indulge in after-the-fact backseat driving of those lives.
1. At various points in the story, Ms. Powell describes herself as emotional, neurotic, weepy, and with the mouth of a sailor. At various points of the story, events support those descriptors. All of which served to throw the author's husband in high relief, as a person who seemed extraordinarily supportive and praiseworthy. In terms of 'mouth of a sailor' - cursing is something AW is not especially fond of, in real life or her reading material. She tolerates it in books on the basis of 'to each his own', and in recognition that it can genuinely contribute to characterization and mood setting. However, she didn't get why it wouldn't be obvious that speaking about literal and figurative excrement in the same context or sentence as FOOD is distasteful. Killed the nicely building appetite factor mentioned above in a right hurry.
2. The novel subtitle refers to 'narcissist', Ms. Lancaster signs email 'judgmentally yours', and refers to herself taking a long time to grow up. Again, events at various points of the story support these descriptors. Given the author's own upfront acknowledgment the reader can't be surprised they are there, nor fail to give the author credit for self-knowledge.
But the aspect that struck AW as bizarre was the oft-repeated refusal, with much hyperbolic and condescending variation, to consider moving out of the city and into the suburbs. AW has lived in a world-class city and understood the author's love of urban opportunities. But taking advantage of museums, art galleries, architecture, theatre, opera etc. is not how the author spent her time. Shopping at big-box stores, eating at fast-food outlets and coffee chains, watching cable television, surfing online, and going to the gym was. Does she truly believe these things can't be accomplished in the suburbs?
It is a rule of general social etiquette that new parents should stop themselves from discussing their babies' digestive process, since NO ONE else is interested. In AW's opinion, this is a good rule. In AW's further opinion, it applies JUST AS MUCH to pet owners. There is no reason on earth to inflict graphic information about pet digestive maladies on hapless readers. And in AW's strongest opinion yet, authors who talk about their own and sibling's penchant during adulthood for urinating in their parents' pool due to not being bothered enough to get out all day, every Fourth of July, should not be surprised when readers are disinclined to read futher titles.
But does the book make you laugh? YES and YES
Both authors have a keen sense of the absurd in everyday life, and are skilled in conveying their observations in a way that lets the reader share that appreciation. 'Julie and Julia' and 'Such a Pretty Fat' are entertaining looks at a part of life no one can escape.
Learn more about Jen Lancaster here . The fact that the website is titled 'Jennsylvania: Land of the Free, Home of the Bitter' gives a taste of what to expect.
AW could not locate a website for author Julie Powell, and the blog maintained for the duration of the Julie/Julia Project seems to be inactive. Learn more about her second book, 'Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsession' here.
The Fine Print: AW checked one book out of the library, and won the other from a blogsite.
Monday, January 4, 2010
"Thursday, October 6, 1949
At 7 o'clock on a dreary evening in the Left Bank, Julia began roasting pigeons for the second time in her life. She'd roasted them that morning for the first time during her first-ever cooking lesson, in a cramped basement kitchen at the Cordon Bleu cooking school at 129, rue de Faubourg-St.Honore. Now she was roasting some more in the rented flat she shared with her husband, Paul, in the kitchen at the top of a narrow stairway in what used to be the servant quarters."
Julie Powell, 'Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously'
"Today on the bus a guy called me a fat bitch."
I'm standing in the kitchen folding a stick of softened butter, a cup of warmed sour cream, and a mound of fresh-shaved Parmesan into my world-famous mashed potatoes while I recount my day's activities to Fletch...and am waiting for the green beans to blanch so I can toss the whole lot with yet more butter before serving the meal.
(Footnote): I'm about a tablespoon of heavy cream away from having the National Dairy Council sponsor our dinner."
Jen Lancaster, 'Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist's Quest to Find Out if her Life Makes her Ass Look Big'
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