“By turns revealing, hilarious, dishy, and razor-sharp, Impersonation lives in that rarest of sweet spots: the propulsive page-turner for people with high literary standards.” —Rebecca Makkai, author of The Great Believers
Phoenix Books is thrilled to welcome writer and editor Heidi Pitlor, series editor of The Best American Short Stories and author of the novel The Daylight Marriage, to our Zoom channel for a discussion of her latest novel, Impersonation. Heidi will be in conversation with Margot Livesey, author of The Boy in the Field.
About the book: Allie Lang is a professional ghostwriter and perpetually broke single mother to a young boy. Years of navigating her own and America’s cultural definitions of motherhood have left her a lapsed idealist. Lana Breban is a powerhouse lawyer, economist, and advocate for women’s rights with designs on elected office. She also has a son. Lana and her staff have decided she needs help softening her public image and that a memoir about her life as a mother will help.
When Allie lands the job as Lana’s ghostwriter, it seems as if things will finally go Allie’s way. At last, she thinks, there will be enough money not just to pay her bills but to actually buy a house. After years of working as a ghostwriter for other celebrities, Allie believes she knows the drill: she has learned how to inhabit the lives of others and tell their stories better than they can. But this time, everything becomes more complicated. Allie’s childcare arrangements unravel; she falls behind on her rent; her subject, Lana, is better at critiquing than actually providing material; and Allie’s boyfriend decides to go on a road trip toward self-discovery. But as a writer for hire, Allie has gotten too used to being accommodating. At what point will she speak up for all that she deserves?
A satirical, incisive snapshot of how so many of us now live, Impersonation tells a timely, insightful, and bitingly funny story of ambition, motherhood, and class.
About the Author: Heidi Pitlor is the author of the novels The Birthdays and The Daylight Marriage. She has been the series editor of The Best American Short Stories since 2007 and is the editorial director of Plympton, a literary studio. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Huffington Post, Ploughshares, and the anthologies It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art and Labor Day: True Birth Stories by Today’s Best Women Writers. She lives outside Boston.
About Margot Livesey: Margot Livesey is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Flight of Gemma Hardy, The House on Fortune Street, Banishing Verona, Eva Moves the Furniture, The Missing World, Criminals, and Homework. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Vogue, and the Atlantic, and she is the recipient of grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. The House on Fortune Street won the 2009 L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award. Born in Scotland, Livesey currently lives in the Boston area and is a professor of fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
Advance Praise for Impersonation:
“Smart, funny, and provocative, Impersonation
—Jessica Shattuck, author of The Women in the Castle
“Heidi Pitlor has written a wonderfully rare thing: a comedy of manners set in the 21st century that brilliantly grapples with some of the more thorny issues of class, privilege, and parenting of our day. Smart, funny, and generous in spirit, Impersonation is an engaging meditation on who controls the narrative and why it matters. A terrific read that will have you hooked from page one.”
—Kate Walbert, author of A Short History of Women
How to register
Registration is free, but book purchases are welcomed and appreciated--thank you for supporting our author!
You must register on this page to attend the event. The event will stream on Zoom. You will receive an email with the Zoom link after registering. If you don't receive a confirmation email after registering today, contact us right away so we can check for problems now.
FOR DELIVERY: Purchase a copy of Impersonation from the Add On menu with the (shipping) ticket option. Your book will be shipped to you via USPS Media Mail following the event. We can only ship to United States addresses. Please allow 7-10 days for delivery after the event.
FOR PICK-UP: Purchase a copy of Impersonation from the Add On menu with the (pick-up) ticket option and select the store pick-up location (Burlington, Essex, or Rutland) from the drop-down menu at the time of purchase. You will be contacted by the store you selected when your order is ready to be picked up after the event.
Author Photo Credit: Adam Landsman