Nothing Special by Nicole Flattery (HC)

Nothing Special by Nicole Flattery (HC)

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A wildly original debut novel about two young women navigating the complex worlds of Andy Warhol's Factory, and coming of age in 1960s New York

New York City, 1966. Seventeen-year-old Mae lives in a run-down apartment with her alcoholic mother and her mother's sometimes-boyfriend, Mikey. She is turned off by the petty girls at her high school, and the sleazy men she typically meets. When she drops out, she is presented with a job offer that will remake her world entirely: she is hired as a typist for the artist Andy Warhol.

Warhol is composing an unconventional novel by recording the conversations and experiences of his many famous and alluring friends. Tasked with transcribing these tapes alongside several other girls, Mae quickly befriends Shelley and the two of them embark on a surreal adventure at the fringes of the countercultural movement. Going to parties together, exploring their womanhood and sexuality, this should be the most enlivening experience of Mae's life. But as she grows increasingly obsessed with the tapes and numb to her own reality, Mae must grapple with the thin line between art and voyeurism and determine how she can remain her own person as the tide of the sixties sweeps over her.

Nothing Special is a whip-smart coming-of-age story about friendship, independence and the construction of art and identity, bringing to life the experience of young women in this iconic and turbulent moment.


"(A) blade-sharp coming-of-age debut novel . . . [Flattery] captures the absurdity and the pain, the texture of city streets and the squalid luxury, and brings a deadpan wit to the whole sex and drugs and Pop-art scene." ― Spectator

"This debut novel is that rare thing, an original, off-kilter coming-of-age story, in which life and art collide in unsettling ways." ― Mail on Sunday

"Nothing Special is as stylishly written as its predecessor Show Them a Good Time. Indeed there are shades of Saul Bellow, in her rendering of New York that 'shrieking cartoon hell' . . . [Flattery] deserves only praise." ― Sunday Independent

Hardcover Edition
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (Mar. 2023)
ISBN: 978-1526612120
Pages: 240