The Body Double (Doubleday)
From a refreshingly honest new voice in fiction, Emily Beyda, comes The Body Double. Taking cues from both David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive and Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, The Body Double is a cinematic and fabulously plotted noir that follows a young woman plucked from obscurity by a charming stranger to impersonate reclusive starlet, Rosanna Feld.
At first alluring and exciting, our narrator’s new life as a body double quickly turns sour. Locked up in a small apartment in the hills, she studies footage of Rosanna, eats her favorite foods, wears her clothes, and endures punishing exercises to obtain Rosanna’s “perfect” body. She takes on Rosanna’s public persona and gains entry to her inner circle, but her sense of self deteriorates and doubts start to arise.
The Body Double is a stunning exploration of fame, beauty, and the hidden cost of keeping up appearances. Equal parts engrossing and unnerving, Beyda’s debut novel offers a sharply observed portrayal of the dark side of Hollywood. Growing up in LA, Beyda worked for the family of a famous Hollywood star and her intimate knowledge of that world informs every detail on the page.
"Emily Beyda's book is so good she doesn't need a blurb from me."
"A treat... An exploration of women’s identities merging can be fertile ground to play with notions of gender and identity, and never-more-so than in The Body Double."
"Well executed... lush and operatic... As she meets her fate with slow-burning horror, the unnamed woman fades like a ghost in a haunted house, its rooms as hollow as the empty promise of stardom. A nightmarish and unsettling story.”
Emily Beyda is a Los Angeles native who for the past three years has written the popular "Dear Glutton" advice column in The Austin Chronicle. A graduate of Texas State's M.F.A. program, she currently resides back in L.A, The Body Double is her first novel.
Ivy Pochoda is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Wonder Valley and Visitation Street. Wonder Valley won The Strand Magazine Critics Award for Best Novel and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Southern California Independent Booksellers Award, as well as the Grand Prix de Litterature Americaine in France. Visitation Street received the Page America Prize in France and was chosen as an Amazon Best Book of 2013 and a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Ivy’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and Vogue. Her first novel The Art of Disappearing, was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2009. For many years she was a world ranked squash player. She teaches creative writing at the Lamp Arts Studio in Skid Row. Ivy grew up in Brooklyn, NY and currently lives in West Adams, Los Angeles.
Author photo by Justin Nowell