The Pink Hotel
LONGLISTED FOR THE ORANGE PRIZE FOR FICTION 2012
“How well do we really know other people — or ourselves? That’s the provocative question that drives Anna Stothard’s astonishing American debut.” The Boston Globe
A raucous, drug-fueled party has taken over a boutique hotel on Venice Beach—it’s a memorial for Lily, the now-deceased free-spirited proprietress of the place. Little do the attendees know that Lily’s estranged daughter—and the nameless narrator of this striking novel—is among them, and she has just walked off with a suitcase of Lily’s belongings.
Abandoned by Lily many years ago, she has come a long way to learn out about her mother, and the stolen suitcase—stuffed with clothes, letters, and photographs—contains not only a history of her mother’s love life, but perhaps also the key to her own identity. As the tough, resourceful narrator tracks down her mother’s former husbands, boyfriends, and acquaintances, a risky reenactment of her life begins to unfold. Lily had a knack for falling in love with the wrong people, and one man, a fashion photographer turned paparazzo, has begun to work his sinuous charms on the young woman.
Told with high style and noirish flare, Anna Stothard’s The Pink Hotel is a powerfully evocative novel about wish fulfillment, reckless impulse, how we discover ourselves…
“Stylish… captures an outsider’s gape at sun-drenched Los Angeles.” The New York Times
“Astonishingly good … Stothard’s writing is accomplished and very engaging.” Kate Saunders, The Times
“This book moved and provoked me in ways I can’t fully articulate. I am incredibly excited to transform Anna Stothard’s extraordinary work into a film I hope we will both be proud of.” Anna Paquin (Trueblood)
“The Pink Hotel is mysterious, lyrical, and utterly absorbing, by turns funny and forlorn. Her writing bristles with sexiness and suspense, love, loss, and longing. This is the best book I’ve read in years.”Davy Rothbart, author of My Heart is An Idiot.
“Startling….The Pink Hotel is a spellbinding story about identity and inheritance, and how we know who we are.” The Daily Beast
A “gritty but elegant U.S. debut…Stothard’s vivid descriptions of L.A.’s seedy underbelly make for an engaging read.” Publisher’s Weekly
“Completely engrossing,” Nylon Magazine
“Matters of personal identity underlie an exhilarating ride through LA’s seamier side in the company of a hard-bitten yet highly engaging protagonist.” Ross Gilfillan, The Mail
“A poignant novel about identity, and a love/hate letter to LA.” Glamour Magazine
“An elegant noirish mystery.” Amanda Craig, The Independent
“A gently transgressive, transatlantic quest that conjures up both the languid heat of LA and the confusions of a young woman on the cusp.” The Lady
“A slow burn classic in the making.” Anne Brook, Vulpes Libris
“Anna Stothard’s descriptions are almost like a painting – the reader finds themselves slap bang in the middle of the America that is rarely shown in film or novels.” Anne Cater, NewBooks
“Anna Stothard’s dark debut Isabel and Rocco, written while the author was still at school, was a McEwan-esque tale about two teenage siblings left to fend for themselves. Her second novel, set amongst the naval- gazers of California, proves no less precocious.” Emma Hagestadt, The Independent
“A beautiful book.” Anna Paquin, RED magazine
“Unapologetically sordid and deeply moving,” The Truth About Books
“I would recommend it to anyone old enough to have been in love even to the point of obsession, or who knows how it feels to have your skin ‘lift and tingle’ a moment before impact. There’s no age limit on this self-contained and extraordinary book,” Ka Bradley, Fiction Uncovered
The Art of Leaving
“Anna Stothard’s third novel cements her her place as one of Britain’s best young authors… Stothard’s lush, dreamy prose is given full rein …” Kaite Welsh, The Literary Review
Leaving comes naturally to Eva Elliott: she spent her childhood abandoning schools and cities. Now she enjoys the thrill of saying goodbye much more than the butterflies of a first smile or kiss. There’s so much more potential in walking away, and Eva has always had a dangerously vivid imagination.
During a rainy summer in London, where Eva lives in a rackety Soho flat with her boyfriend, she dreams of exit strategies. She becomes fascinated by a golden eagle who has escaped the Zoo to roam the city, and thinks up stories about the ghostly figure of a girl who lurks in the window of a strip club opposite her office. When a beguiling stranger called Grace turns up in Eva’s life armed with a conspiratorial smile and a unsettling secret, Eva is left unsure what is in her head and what is reality.
In this haunting story about exits and departures, Anna Stothard reveals that love has its fault lines and freedom comes at a price.
“Stothard gets her talons into you…read it for its beguiling heroine and sparky prose.” Sebastian Shakespeare, Tatler
“Anna Stothard’s third book, after the much-praised Isabel and Rocco and The Pink Hotel, confirms her talent: the prose here can be transfixingly good,” The Independent
“A stunningly accurate and chilling account of the acquiring of emotional wisdom, with vividly drawn characters,” Kate Saunders, The Times
“A witty, beguiling and increasingly poignant novel about the scars – physical and psychological – that make us who we are.” Stephanie Cross, The Lady
“I would recommend it to anyone who likes being told a very good story,” New Books Magazine
Isabel and Rocco
“Hypnotic, transgressive and enclosed … the quality of the writing is remarkable. Stothard gives Isabel a feverish lucidity which makes her see the truth but balk at knowing it.” Helen Dunmore
Taking refuge in the attic room they have always shared, Isabel and Rocco spend their days eavesdropping on their parents’ turbulent relationship, dissecting the intricacies of London life and discovering for themselves the ‘first times’ which will gradually pull them away from the simplicity of childhood.
But when their parents suddenly and inexplicably abandon them, Isabel and Rocco find themselves alone. And free from the rules and restrictions of the adult world. As the house around them slowly begins to disintegrate, so too do the lines between adolescence and experience, and brother and sister retreat further and further from the threatening outside world. But when crisis looms, their ever-growing dependency on each other is put to the ultimate test.
“My brother Rocco doesn’t understand what I mean when I say that pleasure is polluted after the first time.I realize it can get more intense, but it doesn’t get any better…”
“Anna Stothard’s pre-university debut is dazzling … surly and oversexed, vulnerable and murderous … it is remarkably accomplished” Geraldine Bedell, The Observer Review
“Stothard’s claustrophobic and compelling atmosphere of sadistic sexual fizz between her two main characters keeps the reader gripped” The Times
“She beats the young Francoise Sagan to pulp. She takes the everyday and turns it into something urgent, wondrous and alarmingly erotic. Is Camden Town really like this? Yes. See how she breathes new life into old literature.” Fay Weldon
“Sinister debut from an author who shows serious promise. The plot has echoes of Ian McEwan’s The Cement Garden – two children mysteriously left alone by their parents.” Jo Craven, Vogue
“Very impressive” Paperback Preview, The Bookseller
“Rainy streets, kindly but inept teachers, rotting food and the highly seductive, just-surfacing, notions of forbidden sex – Stothard describes them all brilliantly” Carolyn Hart, Juice Magazine
“A dark tale of enfants terribles set in North London, Isabel and Rocco revolves around a brother and sister with an unhealthily obsessive relationship” Marianne Brace, Harpers & Queen
“With shades of Lord of the Flies, Stothard has produced a chilling and haunting work” Annabel Venning,Daily Mail