Synopses & Reviews
A hilariously offbeat memoir about an adventurous young woman's escapades as she defies conventions and transforms an ordinary Los Angeles life into a star-studded, extraordinary miracle of self-discovery.
Queen of the Oddballs forms a chronology of Hillary Carlip's habitual straying from roads more traveled -- from a wisecracking third-grader suspended from school for smoking (while imitating Holly Golightly) to a headline-making teen activist, juggler and fire eater, friend (NOT "fan") of Carly Simon and Carole King, grand prize-winning Gong Show contestant, cult rock star, and seeker of spiritual and romantic truths that definitely defy expectations.
Illustrated with ephemera -- from diary entries and photographs to a handwritten letter from Carly Simon -- Queen of the Oddballs presents a virtual time capsule of pop culture's last four decades and celebrates a creative life lived to the hilt.
"Carlip's fresh, funny memoir of growing up at celebrity's edge in Hollywood, accompanied by photos and highlights of current events from the 1960s through 2004, is at once hilarious and heartbreaking. Even before her childhood appearance on Art Linkletter's TV program House Party, Carlip had been bitten by the showbiz bug. With shameless determination, in her teens she pursued friendships with celebrities such as Carly Simon and Carole King, and created her own minor celebrity as a juggler on The Gong Show, an extra in films like Xanadu, and the star of her own rock band. Carlip also turns the lens on her love life and the experience of growing up gay in Los Angeles. Ending the book with an anticlimactic flashback to her appearance on Oprah for her collection of writings by teenage girls, 1995's Girl Power, the author takes a step back from her continuing pursuit of fame to realize that by feeling like she's never 'enough,' she has been forced to 'welcome limitless possibilities by doing everything unaccording to plan.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"An unpredictable, fresh, distinctive memoir...it will suck you in before you know it." Laurie Notaro, author of The Idiot Girl's Action Adventure Club
"Hillary Carlip is the best kind of eccentric: Genuine, ballsy, funny and soulful....She deserves to be our queen." Beth Lisick, Author of Everybody into the Pool
About the Author
Hillary Carlip, author of Girl Power, has written commentaries for NPR, and is a performer and artist. She is the creator of the acclaimed personal essay Web site freshyarn.com, and she lives in Los Angeles.