March 16, 2018

Silver Girl Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway

Author:Leslie Pietrzyk 
Release Date: February 27, 2018 
Publisher: Unnamed Press 
Pages: 272 
Formats: Paperback, eBook 


It's the early 1980s. Ronald Reagan's economy will trickle down any day now, and Chicago's Tylenol Killer has struck: an unknown person is stuffing cyanide into capsules, then returning them to drugstore shelves. 

Against the backdrop of this rampant anxiety, one young woman, desperate to escape the unspoken secrets of her Midwestern family, bluffs her way into the fancy "school by the lake" in Chicago. There she meets Jess, charismatic and rich and needy, and the two form an insular, competitive friendship. Jess' family appears perfect to the narrator's wishful eye, and she longs to fit into their world, even viewing herself as a potentially better daughter than the unappreciative Jess. But the uneven power dynamic chafes the narrator, along with lingering guilt about the sister she left behind. Her behavior becomes increasingly risky - and after Jess' sister dies in murky circumstances and the Tylenol killer exposes the intricate double life of Jess' father, she finds herself scrambling for footing. Nothing is as it seems, and the randomness of life feels cruel, whether one's fate is swallowing a poisoned Tylenol or being born into a damaged and damaging family. 

SILVER GIRL is a cousin to Emma Cline's The Girls and Emily Gould's Friendship in its nuanced exploration of female friendship, with the longing of Stephanie Danler's Sweetbitter. 

Find it: Amazon, B&N, TBD, iBooks, Goodreads
The winters I remember in Chicago had a specific dark endless quality, as if distilled to some deeper, purer essence than the winters in Iowa, though it was cold and snowy back there, too. In Chicago, the snow came and wouldn’t leave, only accumulated, until the concept of “white” was a thing to loathe. The low grey of every day’s same sky; slush ribboning the streets, piling up along the curbs, and the smacking sound of tires rolling through the mass of it; the scrape of shovels battering against cement; the piercing chafe of snot inhaled back up into a raw, red nose; circling fingerfuls of Vaseline into salt-stained dress boots, massaging mink oil into shoes for waterproofing and stainproofing, the greasy rank scent, the fluttery questions, best ignored, about what mink oil really was, where it might come from; the flick of Kleenex popping when pulled out of a box one after the other; sniffles ricocheting across the library stacks, the distracting echo of that, rereading the same first paragraph over and over, highlighter pen clenched between fingers and thumb, uncomprehending; hat-mashed hair and chapped lips and hangnails catching inside gloves and dry skin, flaky skin, lifeless skin; sparks of static electricity snapping off doorknobs; the heavy, dull food of the cafeteria, brown meat, white potatoes, tinny-tasting green beans with the texture of mush, noodles and more noodles and more noodles; the radio d.j.s and newscasters and their damn positivity, the manic cry, “Good morning!”; crunching across snow; seeing a girl in a red scarf slip and fall on ice across the street as people streamed around her, late for class. And the wind. The wind, the wind. That Chicago wind.…

To cope, we punished ourselves. This was when we took on the bears: tough classes, tedious requirements outside our interests, the eight o’clocks. The thinking was, nothing to do but study, so grind away. The thinking was, if your roommate committed suicide, they’d award you pity A’s and if you were the one committing suicide, at least you’d escape winter (we assumed; possibly we were already in hell). The thinking was, there had never been a year when spring didn’t eventually show up, but just as we couldn’t really believe that rumor about a roommate’s suicide boosting our GPAs, we couldn’t believe in spring either. It was something we remembered hearing about, once at a party, from a drunk guy with shit for brains. We didn’t believe it. It was hard to believe in anything during those winters.
Leslie Pietrzyk is the author of two novels, Pears on a Willow Tree and A Year and a Day. This Angel on My Chest, her collection of linked short stories, won the 2015 Drue Heinz Literature Prize and was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in October 2015. Kirkus Reviews named it one of the 16 best story collections of the year. A new novel, Silver Girl, is forthcoming from Unnamed Press in February 2018. Her short fiction and essays have appeared/are forthcoming in many publications, including Hudson Review, Southern Review, Arts & Letters, Gettysburg Review, The Sun, Shenandoah, River Styx, Iowa Review, TriQuarterly, New England Review, Salon, Washingtonian, and the Washington Post Magazine. She has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Pietrzyk is a member of the core fiction faculty at the Converse low-residency MFA program and often teaches in the MA Program in Writing at Johns Hopkins University. Raised in Iowa, she now lives in Alexandria, Virginia.  
Giveaway Details
(3) winners will receive a finished copy of SILVER GIRL - US Only.
Ends on March 20th at Midnight EST! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule: 
Week One: 
2/26/2018- BookHounds YA- Interview 
2/27/2018- The Book Tower- Review 
2/28/2018- BookishRealmReviews- Review 
3/1/2018- The Underground- Review 
3/2/2018- Confessions of a YA Reader- Excerpt 

Week Two: 
3/12/2018- Don't Judge, Read- Interview 
3/13/2018- Daily Waffle - Excerpt 
3/14/2018- Hauntedbybooks13- Review 
3/15/2018- Pretty Deadly Reviews- Review 
3/16/2018- A Dream Within A Dream- Excerpt 

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