A Lady's Guide to Selling Out: A Novel (Paperback)

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A Lady's Guide to Selling Out: A Novel By Sally Franson Cover Image

A Lady's Guide to Selling Out: A Novel (Paperback)


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With “elements of The Bold Type, Mad Men, and The Devil Wears Prada” (Entertainment Weekly), a young woman navigates a tricky twenty-first-century career—and the trickier question of who she wants to be—in this savagely wise debut novel.

At 28, Casey Pendergast is not where she thought she’d be. Sure, she’s killing it at her high-paying advertising job, but when she thinks about the idealistic English major she used to be, she can’t help the nagging feeling that perhaps her best friend Susan is right – Casey is a sellout who’s traded her dreams for a high-rise condominium, expense account, and designer handbags.

When her boss assigns her to a lucrative new campaign to lure acclaimed authors into becoming content creators for corporations, Casey doubts that her literary idols will buy into this particular brand of capitalism. But determined to give it her best shot, she begins her trek across America, only to find herself stunned by how easily these writers agree to compromise their work and integrity in exchange for some extra cash. As she grapples with her own conscience, and falls in love with one of the authors she’s courting, Casey begins to question just how much she’s willing to sacrifice to chase material success.

A witty and razor-sharp coming of age story perfect for our time, A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out is a winning debut novel about a young woman navigating career, love, and friendships, all while redefining success on her own terms and figuring out who she really wants to be.

Sally Franson is the author of A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Best American Travel Writing, and on NPR, among other places. She grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, and was educated at Barnard College and the University of Minnesota. She lives in Minneapolis.

Product Details ISBN: 9780063317727
ISBN-10: 0063317729
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: January 23rd, 2024
Pages: 288
Language: English

“Bitingly funny . . . [Sally] Franson’s snappy debut nimbly skewers the high-flying world of advertising and romance in the age of social media. . . . Franson’s irresistibly flawed heroine holds her own as she strives to find honesty, meaning, and even love in a demanding world, resulting in an addictive, escapist novel.” — Publishers Weekly

“A high-spirited heroine loses herself in a vortex of modern striving in this debut novel. . . . Come for the hilarious narration, stay for the whirlwind plot, luxuriate in the satirical gleam.” — Kirkus Reviews

“A wry, observant take on career success and ambition.” — New York Post

“A fast-paced and quick-witted trip into the world of advertising today. With smart, funny characters and perfectly crafted dialogue, Franson cleverly explores the battle between giving in and staying true to oneself.” — Booklist

“This frothy, sneaky tale from Franson intermixes elements of The Bold Type, Mad Men, and The Devil Wears Prada.” — Entertainment Weekly

"Wickedly funny." — Bustle

"Navigates the messy crossroads at the intersection between art and capitalism in the age of social media. This one is perfect for recent grads making the inevitably rocky leap from academia into the corporate world." — Refinery 29

"If you’re in the mood for something light yet smart (and, let’s be honest, who isn’t?) you’ll devour this novel about a book-loving advertising executive confronted with the eternal question: Which is more important — success… or your soul?" — Cup of Jo

“A book lover is torn between a cushy gig and . . . well, her soul, basically.” — Cosmopolitan

"A lively debut." — St. Paul Pioneer Press

"Behind the novel's frothy and funny packaging lie themes including the eternal tension between art and commerce, ambition and ethics. ... The book is wise, weighty and way beyond its years." — The Oklahoman

"Franson...is a witty observer of the literary world." — Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Truly beautifully observed, A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out is a gorgeous treat. Sally Franson’s voice is addictive: whip-smart, biting, and clever. I kept pausing to reread parts of it with a huge smile on my face.” — Jane Green, author of Summer Secrets

A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out perfectly captures the glamorous highs and hilarious lows of the cutthroat world of new advertising—the Wild West of our time. Casey Pendergast is an unforgettable heroine, a feminist Don Draper for our age, navigating the bizarre ways in which art and commerce intersect. Sally Franson’s debut is exhilarating, terrifying, and totally addictive.” — Lucy Sykes, author of Fitness Junkie

“If Jane Austen’s Emma and Dorothy Parker had a three-way with David Copperfield (not the magician), Casey Pendergast would be their wisecracking, heartbroken love child. In Sally Franson’s smart, funny, and sharp-eyed novel, terrible mistakes are made and, mostly, rectified. A happy ending, a true heart, and a very good and clever time. Perfect." — Amy Bloom, author of Away

“A wonderfully comic and smart novel about one woman’s trip to our contemporary Vanity Fair, complete with Instagram, Twitter, and messaging of every sort. . . . Both funny and sobering, this book is a remarkable debut from an amazingly prescient and talented young writer.” — Charles Baxter, author of The Feast of Love

“Funny, fast-paced, and seductive, A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out is about books and sex and ambition and love and money and the various undeniable attractions of staying true to oneself versus (for the right price) selling out. Sally Franson’s debut novel is hilariously terrific.” — Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members