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[VIRTUAL] LitFest: Francine Prose, The Vixen

Date: August 23, 2021Time: 6:00 pm

Critically acclaimed, bestselling author Francine Prose returns with a dazzling new novel set in the glamorous world of 1950s New York publishing, the story of a young man tasked with editing an assignment that will reveal the true cost of entering that seductive, dangerous new world.

It’s 1953, and Simon Putnam, a recent Harvard graduate newly hired by a
distinguished New York publishing firm, has entered a glittering world of
three-martini lunches, exclusive literary parties, and old-money aristocrats
in exquisitely tailored suits, a far cry from his loving, middle-class Jewish family in Coney Island.

But Simon’s first assignment—editing The Vixen, the Patriot and the Fanatic, a lurid bodice-ripper improbably based on the recent trial and execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, a potboiler intended to shore up the firm’s failing finances—makes him question the cost of admission. Because Simon has a secret that, at the height of the Red Scare and the McCarthy hearings, he cannot reveal: his beloved mother was a childhood friend of Ethel Rosenberg’s. His parents mourn Ethel’s death.

Simon’s dilemma grows thornier when he meets The Vixen’s author, the startlingly beautiful, reckless, seductive Anya Partridge, ensconced in her opium-scented boudoir in a luxury Hudson River mental asylum. As mysteries deepen, as the confluence of sex, money, politics, and power spirals out of Simon’s control, he must face what he’s lost by exchanging the loving safety of his middle-class Jewish parents’ Coney Island apartment for the witty, whiskey-soaked orbit of his charismatic boss, the legendary Warren Landry. Gradually Simon realizes that the people around him are not what they seem, that everyone is keeping secrets, that ordinary events may conceal a diabolical plot—and that these crises may steer him toward a brighter future.

Monday, August 23 | 6 pm MT | $10 Talk Only | $36.50 talk & book curbside |  $39.50 talk & book USPS