"A sure comic touch . . . smart and sweet . . . a tribute to the pleasures of friendship." —The New Yorker
In the heart of New York City, a group of artistic friends struggles with society's standards of beauty. At the center are Barb and Lily, two women at opposite ends of the beauty spectrum, but with the same problem: each fears she will never find a love that can overcome her looks. Barb, a stunningly beautiful costume designer, makes herself ugly in hopes of finding true love. Meanwhile, her friend Lily, a brilliantly talented but plain-looking musician, goes to fantastic lengths to attract the man who has rejected her—with results that are as touching as they are transformative.
To complicate matters, Barb and Lily discover that they may have a murderer in their midst, that Barb’s calm disposition is more dangerously provocative than her beauty ever was, and that Lily's musical talents are more powerful than anyone could have imagined. Part literary whodunit, part surrealist farce, The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty is a smart, modern-day fairy tale. With biting wit and offbeat charm, Amanda Filipacchi illuminates the labyrinthine relationship between beauty, desire, and identity, asking at every turn: what does it truly mean to allow oneself to be seen?
Dear Literary Lady, My friend is insecure about her looks and obsesses about her perceived imperfections. I wish I could convince her to stop. Are there any books you recommend that might convince her that beauty isn’t everything? – D.F., Providence, R.I. Dear D.F.,
Dinner parties follow different rules for the hosts and the guests. For the hosts, the best party is one no one will remember a week from tonight because everything went well. For the guests, such successes are terribly boring, and the best parties are invariably the ones where at least one thing goes disastrously—those are […]