IN THIS EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT FROM CHIARA BARZINI'S UPCOMING NOVEL, OUT IN AUGUST, CULTURES CLASH WHEN A ROMAN TEENAGER MOVES TO THE SUBURBS OF LOS ANGELES IN THE WEEKS FOLLOWING THE 1992 RIOTS.
There’s something you don’t want to tell me,” she says.
He says nothing.
“I’m not an idiot,” she says. “It’s not like I don’t know what’s going on.” He sits up in the bed.
CONGRATULATE ME. I DID IT! I broke up with Jimmy. . . . Last night after the Bartoshucks’ dinner party. . . . They served risotto. But did you hear me? I said I broke up with Jimmy. Promise you won’t say anything to him. He thinks we’re still good. . . . No. No, I could never tell him. You know how I hate confrontation.
I woke up in the morning speaking French and found that Pascal had came back, his left ear bent, like a furry maple leaf. I tried to straighten it but he pinched me with his needle teeth. He had been gone for over two weeks. I had plastered everywhere his photo and my number and a promise of a reward but no one ever called.
(An exclusive excerpt from her second novel of the same title)
You are unemployed, at best very unsuccessful. Yet you go to parties. Parties where you meet people who ask, “So what do you do?”
You live with your parents. You share a one-bedroom with three roommates. You consider ramen a food group. You update your Facebook profile daily.
Your job has no title. You work within a department. You’re an unpaid intern. You’re assistant to the intern.
You stop people on the street and ask them if they like comedy, then push ticket packages to the “best comedy club in New York!” You stop them and say, “Excuse me, may I ask you a question about your hair?” You hand out free soap samples; nobody wants your soap samples.