East City Bookshop welcomes Jessica Anya Blau with her new novel Mary Jane in conversation with Nick Hornby.
Tickets available via Eventbrite here. Registration is required.
About Mary Jane
Almost Famous meets Daisy Jones and the Six in this funny, wise, and tender novel about a fourteen-year-old girl’s coming of age in 1970s Baltimore, caught between her straight-laced family and the progressive family she nannies for—who happen to be secretly hiding a famous rock star and his movie star wife for the summer.
“Funny, sad, sharp, charming, surprising, big-hearted and true both to its characters and its time.” — Nick Hornby
In 1970s Baltimore, fourteen-year-old Mary Jane loves cooking with her mother, singing in her church choir, and enjoying her family’s subscription to the Broadway Showtunes of the Month record club. Shy, quiet, and bookish, she’s glad when she lands a summer job as a nanny for the daughter of a local doctor. A respectable job, Mary Jane’s mother says. In a respectable house.
The house may look respectable on the outside, but inside it’s a literal and figurative mess: clutter on every surface, Impeachment: Now More Than Ever bumper stickers on the doors, cereal and takeout for dinner. And even more troublesome (were Mary Jane’s mother to know, which she does not): the doctor is a psychiatrist who has cleared his summer for one important job—helping a famous rock star dry out. A week after Mary Jane starts, the rock star and his movie star wife move in.
Over the course of the summer, Mary Jane introduces her new household to crisply ironed clothes and a family dinner schedule, and has a front-row seat to a liberal world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll (not to mention group therapy). Caught between the lifestyle she’s always known and the future she’s only just realized is possible, Mary Jane will arrive at September with a new idea about what she wants out of life, and what kind of person she’s going to be.
About Jessica Anya Blau
Jessica Anya Blau is the author of the nationally bestselling novel The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and three other critically acclaimed novels, most recently The Trouble With Lexie. Her novels have been recommended and featured on CNN, NPR, The Today Show and in Vanity Fair, Cosmo, Oprah’s Summer Reads, and many other national magazines and newspapers.
About Nick Hornby
Nick Hornby is an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and award-winning author. He has written eight novels – Just Like You, Funny Girl, Juliet Naked, A Long Way Down, Slam, How to be Good, About A Boy and High Fidelity. His non-fiction books include 31 Songs and Fever Pitch. The Complete Polysyllabic Spree is a collection of his columns in The Believer magazine, for which he continues to write. He edited the collection of short stories, Speaking With The Angel.
Nick received an Academy Award nomination for the screenplay he adapted from Colm Toibin’s novel Brooklyn. He adapted Cheryl Strayed’s memoir for Wild and was Oscar and BAFTA-nominated for his screenplay adaptation of Lynn Barber’s memoir An Education. He adapted Nina Stibbe's memoir Love, Nina for the BBC television series and won an Emmy for his short form series State of the Union.
In 2010, Nick co-founded the children’s writing charity The Ministry of Stories in East London.