By Gina Fattore
Paperback | $16
Ebook | $11.99
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Happily Ever After Is Overrated
Our heroine, a moderately successful TV writer in L.A., wants her life to be as sunny and perfect as a Hollywood rom-com: a cool job, a wacky best friend, and lots of age-appropriate hot guys just dying to date her. Instead, she’s a self-described spinster who is swimming in anxiety and just might have a tiny little brain tumor. So she turns to an unlikely source for inspiration: the eighteenth-century novelist and diarist Frances Burney, who pretty much invented the chick-lit novel.
A semi-autobiographical unromantic comedy, The Spinster Diaries is a laugh-out-loud satire of both the TV business and the well-worn conventions of chick lit—as well as the true tale of the forgotten writer who inspired Jane Austen to greatness. It’s an endearing and refreshingly honest testament to how one person’s life can reach out across the centuries to touch another’s.
About the Author
Photo by Amy Tierney.
Gina Fattore is executive producer of the USA network series Dare Me. She’s also written for Masters of Sex, Parenthood, Californication, Gilmore Girls, and Dawson’s Creek. Before moving to Los Angeles to become a TV writer, she was an assistant editor at the Chicago Reader. Her essays and reviews have appeared there and also in the Millions, Salon, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. In 2015 she delivered a TEDx talk about spinsterhood called “Become What You Believe” at TEDx GrandRapids. Learn more at ginafattore.com.
Hear Gina introduce the book and talk about how it came to be in this video.
Praise for The Spinster Diaries
“Fattore’s lightning-fast prose shines… A humorous and heartfelt look at the expectations women have lived with, and triumphed over, across the centuries.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Paying homage to women who self-actualize through their art, The Spinster Diaries focuses on two women separated by time who live out their beliefs… Gina’s story develops in tandem with Fanny’s. Both adopt The Spinster Way, prioritizing writing over the typical feminine protocol of marriage and children. Their relationships with their sisters highlight the importance of women’s friendships, while their resilience and humor are dominant and infectious. Fanny inspires Gina to maintain hope in the face of death, even as she herself outlives everyone she loves. The ending is unexpected and delightful.”
— Foreword Reviews
Early Raves for The Spinster Diaries
“Witty, whip-smart and winning, Gina Fattore’s Spinster Diaries is a sheer delight. In her tale of an anxious TV writer who turns to the lessons gleaned from her favorite writer—eighteenth-century novelist Fanny Burney—to navigate a health scare and ensuing existential crisis, Fattore expertly carries us from droll humor to incisive cultural critique, from lively comedy to utter poignancy.”
— Megan Abbott, bestselling author of Dare Me and You Will Know Me
“Wouldn’t it be cool if ‘Gina Fattore’ was really the pseudonym I chose for my prose writing, and it was actually me who wrote this funny, emotional, expertly crafted novel, and it was me whose witty and original voice was so fresh and captivating? Well, a guy can dream.”
— Greg Daniels, co-creator of such hit TV shows as The Office and Parks and Recreation
“Gina Fattore’s tale of a TV writer stuck in showbiz purgatory is authentic, hilarious, and heartbreaking. Fattore serves as our herald into the capricious world of LA’s entertainment industry, introducing us to a few of its central tenets: GirlWorld, (where expensive shoes and juicy dating exploits are required passports), Journaling For Anxiety™ (necessary when you’re dealing with extensive script rewrites—oh, and being diagnosed with a brain tumor), and one giant passion project, a miniseries about the real-life English writer Frances Burney. Part social commentary, part confessional, part history lesson, Fattore’s book asks the big questions. Why are women who choose their own paths without partners labeled as “spinsters”? If your brain tumor is benign, can you wait until hiatus to have it removed? And why do things always seem to work out in Woody Allen movies? I wish my diary was this much fun to read. Fattore’s writing shines brightly in this amazing debut.”
— Debbie Graber, author of Kevin Kramer Starts on Monday
“In this delightfully ambivalent paean to contemporary spinsterhood, Gina Fattore unpacks and upends the conventions of romantic comedy in a voice both razor sharp and flat-out hilarious. I didn’t want it to end.”
— Antoine Wilson, author of Panorama City
“Gina Fattore writes like the voice of your best friend in your head—that ideal friend whose unflagging support, self-effacing humor, painful honesty, easy rhythm, and bravery in all things great and small you want to turn to in times of distress. This is a rare and tricky feat only accomplished by the wittiest of writers. She also gets Hollywood exactly right. She sweats the small stuff hilariously, and gracefully handles the big stuff like the witty adult in the room. And the rooms she’s been in contain a serious shortage of adults. Like Carrie Fisher, Fattore is funny as hell and in love with words and curious things; she’s the quiet voice at the dinner party that you realize is also the smartest and funniest right around the time dessert appears. Once I realized she wasn’t going to write about me in The Spinster Diaries, I relaxed and really enjoyed it. But I then got disappointed that I wasn’t being subjected to her kind and ruthless gaze. Maybe in the sequel.”
— David Duchovny, actor and author of Holy Cow and Miss Subways
“An utter delight from start to finish, Gina Fattore’s debut is one of those rarities—a comic novel that is actually laugh-out-loud funny. The Spinster Diaries is a heartfelt, hilarious, and addictively un-put-downable story of anxiety, ambition, and love (or learning to live without it) in 21st-century L.A. and eighteenth-century Britain.”
— Adam Langer, author of Crossing California and The Thieves of Manhattan
“So you have this book about a semi-alienated (okay almost completely alienated), perpetually unmarried Hollywood TV writer adrift in a world of L.A. lunacy and blondes in zillion-dollar shoes. Throw in the fact that she spends her idle moments obsessing about an eighteenth-century novelist whose heroines are actually a lot less interesting than she is. Throw in a brain tumor. Mix and splatter. What you have is a woman you root for who makes Bridget Jones seem like a boring cow and a book that makes you laugh and, well, not cry exactly, because she is resilient, decent as hell, and whip-smart, and it is such a special pleasure to watch her find her unique way of being in a world that doesn’t deserve her. Sign me up for the Gina Fattore fan club. I adore her.”
— George Hodgman, author of Bettyville