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Kiss the Skyby Farai Chideya
Synopses & Reviews
From political commentator, book author, and multimedia personality Farai Chideya comes an intense and darkly funny debut novel about a woman who learns what you stand to gain — and lose — if you follow your dreams of fame.
Sophie Maria Clare Lee doesn't have the résumé of a rock star. She grew up a book-smart black girl in blue-collar Baltimore, then remade herself at Harvard into a hipster with an appetite for self-destructive men. One of them is the mesmerizing Ari Klein, a charismatic and handsome black-biracial trust-fund baby. Ari is her Harvard classmate, the man she toured America with as part of an indie rock band right after college, and — by the time we meet Sophie at the start of the novel — her ex-husband.
Ten years after graduation, Sophie has made a career as a music television host in Manhattan. But she's grown restless of interviewing pop culture icons and wannabes enjoying their fifteen minutes of fame. Spurred into a one-night musical reunion with Ari in order to help a friend, Sophie decides it's time to stop playing the good girl and snatch back the mic. She wants to be the next "It girl" in the music media circuit.
Sophie has the talent and drive to take her game to the next level despite the odds. She lands a record deal — with the help of a new manager and paramour, Leo Masters — but quickly discovers that her celebrity status brings new risks for her sense of self and even her safety. As she and Ari begin to play music together again, Sophie, Leo, and Ari also enter a complicated love triangle. It puts her in personal jeopardy just as she's beginning to achieve commercial success. With a Greek chorus of advice from her two best girlfriends from Harvard, Sophie tries to figure out how she relates to these two men, the music business, her loving but demanding extended family, and her penchant for alcohol and melancholy. As the band tours America, Europe, and Africa, will Sophie's faith, family, and friendships crumble under the weight of her dogged fight for fame?
"Washed-up rock star Sophie Lee has coasted along as a B-level TV celebrity since the breakup of her indie rock band, Sky, and her divorce from Ari Klein, the alluring but drug-abusing lead guitarist and fellow Harvard classmate. But when the band reunites for a one-night charity event, she realizes her dreams of stardom might not be over. Her new producer and lover, Leo Masters, pushes her into recording and touring again, throwing Sophie in over her head, as she is torn between her old love and her new one in the pressure cooker of fame. NPR radio host Chideya captures the New York music scene at the turn of the millennium in her debut novel, but fails to generate much sympathy for Sophie as she struggles through a quagmire of problems, mostly resulting from her own inability to take control of her life. Sophie's many neuroses aren't organic, a new one seeming to appear any time the reader's interest may be waning. Despite a memorable cast of side characters, the plot flounders along as ineffectually as the heroine." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
From a national NPR radio host comes an intense and darkly funny debut novel about a woman who learns what she stands to gain--and lose--if she follows her dreams of fame.
About the Author
Farai Chideya, author of Don't Believe the Hype: Fighting Cultural Misinformation About African Americans (Plume Penguin 1995), now in it's eigth printing, The Color of Our Future (William Morrow, 1999), named one of the best books for teens by the New York Public Library, and Trust: REaching the 100 Million Missing Voters (Soft Skull, 2004) has worked in print for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Time, Spin, Vibe, O, Mademoiselle, Essence, and more. Prior to joining NPR's News & Notes, she hosted Your Call, a daily news and cultural call-in show on San Franciso's KALW 91.7. She has bee a correspondent for ABC News, anchored the prime time program Pure Oxygen on teh Oxygen women's channel, and contributed commentaries to CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and BET.
She was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland and graduated with a B.A. from Harvard University magna cum laude in 1990.
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