A seductive, suspenseful novel of female friendship, obsession and twisted betrayal, set against the feverish backdrop of contemporary Hollywood
'Acampora is an original' Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City
An electrifying debut novel of two women's friendship, a haunting obsession and twisted ambition, set against the feverish backdrop of contemporary Hollywood.
Abby Graven is a dreamer. She dreams her way through her small, lonely life - hiding back at her parents, working at the grocery store. At night, she collects tabloid clippings that taunt her with Elise - her best friend, now Hollywood's hot new starlet.
When a school reunion throws Elise in her path, Abby seizes her chance. With feverish certainty, she boards a one-way flight to LA to become Elise's assistant and enters her gauzy realm of film sets and glamorous actors.
But behind Elise's glossy magazine veneer, she is drowning in Hollywood's vicious social cycle. Ever the devoted friend, Abby conceals her own burning desire for greatness.
For she is smarter than Elise. More talented. A true artist. And as she edges closer to her own ambitions, Abby can see only one way to make her dream come true.
Propelled by seductive, unstoppable force, The Paper Wasp slashes through the dark side of Hollywood and the treacherous intimacies of female friendship, pursuing a heroine of blazing artistic vision and blinding drive.
It seems at first a novel of friendship between women - a rich vein for any writer - but in The Paper Wasp, Lauren Acampora upends convention, creating an unsettling (and impossible to put down) story about art and ambition, fame and power. A beautiful and surprising book. - Rumaan Alam, author of That Kind of Mother
The Paper Wasp is a crazy joy ride of a novel; a bold and joyous take on female friendship, outsider ambition and the secret powers of loners. It gives us a heroine who is selfish, weird, and manipulative, and makes us root for her with all our selfish, weird, and manipulative hearts. I loved every second of it. - Sandra Newman, author of The Heavens
A lyrical, provocative, imaginative page turner that makes the world feel new again, The Paper Wasp is both a stunning portrait of a fixated woman and an addictive, modern commentary on an eternal theme of obsession. In her glittering, goosebump-inducing prose, Lauren Acampora gives us a soul trip/head trip/rarefied LA trip replete with surrealism and social commentary. - Caroline Kepnes, author of You
Like Wharton, Acampora seems to understand fiction as a kind of elegant design . . . There is a barbed honesty to the stories that brushes up against Acampora's lovely prose to interesting effect. Often a single sentence twists sinuously, charged with positive and negative electricity - New York Times Book Review, on The Wonder Garden
Acampora is an exquisite stylist who misses no shade or psychological texture and who also plumbs depths of feeling in note-perfect prose that leaves one stunned at the artistry on display. The Paper Wasp is a powerful statement of aesthetic purpose, and an unalloyed triumph. - Matthew Thomas, author of We Are Not Ourselves
Thrilling . . . Acampora writes propulsive sentences at a fever pitch. Told in the second person, the novel is by turns a confession, an accusation, and a stalker's diary, yet it is also grounded by Acampora's musings on philosophy, art, and ambition. Abby is a unique heroine making all the wrong choices feel somehow right and just. Utterly bizarre and completely bewitching, this twisted, delicious tale will grab you from the first page and hurl you over the edge. - Kirkus (starred review)
Dark and brilliant . . . Lauren Acampora is a terrific writer - Joseph O Neil, author of The Dog, on The Wonder Garden
Lauren Acampora is the author of The Wonder Garden, which won the GLCA New Writers Award, and was named a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, an Indie Next selection, a New England Book Award finalist, and one of Amazon and NPR's best books of the year. The Paper Wasp is her first novel.