Nothing Special

Nicole Flattery

£16.99

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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
2 March 2023
ISBN: 9781526612120
Hardback
240 pages

From the publisher

'A wry, witty and wonderful novel from a brilliantly captivating storyteller' JOSEPH O'CONNOR

'Nothing Special casts such a stylish and transportive spell . . . I'll never again ride an escalator without thinking of this book' SLOANE CROSLEY

New York City, 1966. Seventeen-year-old Mae lives in a run-down apartment with her alcoholic mother and her mother's sometimes-boyfriend, Mikey. She is turned off by the petty girls at her high school, and the sleazy men she typically meets. When she drops out, she is presented with a job offer that will remake her world entirely: she is hired as a typist for the artist Andy Warhol.

Warhol is composing an unconventional novel by recording the conversations and experiences of his many famous and alluring friends. Tasked with transcribing these tapes alongside several other girls, Mae quickly befriends Shelley and the two of them embark on a surreal adventure at the fringes of the countercultural movement. Going to parties together, exploring their womanhood and sexuality, this should be the most enlivening experience of Mae's life. But as she grows increasingly obsessed with the tapes and numb to her own reality, Mae must grapple with the thin line between art and voyeurism and determine how she can remain her own person as the tide of the sixties sweeps over her.

For readers of Ottessa Moshfegh and Mary Gaitskill, this blistering, mordantly funny debut brilliantly interrogates the nature of friendship and independence and the construction of art and identity. Nothing Special is a whip-smart coming-of-age story that brings to life the experience of young girls in this iconic and turbulent American moment.

PRAISE FOR SHOW THEM A GOOD TIME

'A masterclass . . . Bold, irreverent and agonisingly funny' Sally Rooney
'Announces the arrival of a brilliant talent' Financial Times
'Explores difficult questions about self-worth, agency and intimacy with thrilling sharpness' Sunday Times
'Demands repeated reading' Jon McGregor