Impersonation by Heidi Pitlor

“By turns revealing, hilarious, dishy, and razor-sharp, Impersonation lives in that rarest of sweet spots: the propulsive page-turner for people with high literary standards.” —Rebecca Makkai, writer of The Great Believers Allie Lang is a expert ghostwriter and a forever broke unmarried mother to a young boy. Years of navigating her personal and America’s cultural definitions of motherhood have left her a lapsed idealist. Lana Breban is a powerhouse lawyer, economist, and endorse for women’s rights with designs on elected office. She also has a son. Lana and her team of workers have determined she needs assist softening her public photo and that a memoir approximately her life as a mom will assist. When Allie lands the activity as Lana’s ghostwriter, it seems as though matters will in the end pass Allie’s way. At last, she thinks, there’ll be enough money not just to pay her bills but to simply purchase a house. After years of running as a ghostwriter for different celebrities, Allie believes she is aware of the drill: she has learned the way to inhabit the lives of others and inform their stories higher than they can. But this time, everything turns into extra complicated. Allie’s childcare preparations unravel; she falls behind on her rent; her subject, Lana, is higher at critiquing than absolutely imparting material; and Allie’s boyfriend decides to move on a road trip towards self-discovery. But as a writer for hire, Allie has gotten too used to being accommodating. At what factor will she speak up for all that she deserves?   A satirical, incisive snapshot of how so a lot of us now live, Impersonation tells a timely, insightful, and bitingly funny story of ambition, motherhood, and class.  


Your favorite celebrity memoir was most probable written with the aid of a ghostwriter, an creator who anonymously pens books for others (often well-known folks) to publish under their personal names. Taking a gaggle of garbled notes from a celebrity and writing up some thing legible is thrilling work, to say the least.

Ghostwriters must be adaptable and discreet approximately their clients. This hasn’t been a trouble for ghostwriter Allie Lang, a single mom in suburban New England who is the main man or woman in Heidi Pitlor’s Impersonation. Or rather, adaptability and discretion haven’t been a trouble for Allie before—till she is hired to ghostwrite a book for famous activist Lana Breban about elevating a feminist son.

Allie admires her ballsy new consumer, and adopting the voice of a trailblazing feminist comes clearly to her. Allie desires to raise a feminist son, too. Yet it turns into clear over the years that the two girls are not combating the identical battles. In fact, they may not even be fighting on the equal battlefield. Lana has a financially generous ebook deal, an assistant and Hollywood friends on velocity dial. Furthermore, she’s spent little to no time absolutely raising her son. She has a nanny for that.

Pitlor’s genius is that Impersonation doesn’t inn to pitting two ladies against each other. One woman’s profession is circumscribed by means of care work, and the other’s career is not. But whilst Allie laments that “integrity—and actual feminism—were actually for humans greater financially stable than I,” it’s obvious that the troubles between this ghostwriter and her patron are emblematic of so much more. Impersonation isn’t only a critique of the “white feminism” of privileged girls who prioritize cash and achievement in existing electricity structures. It’s also extra than a critique of the publishing industry, which best cares that Lana seems “maternal” enough to promote parenting books. Impersonation is a critique of our society’s fragile social safety net for so many vulnerable women, complete of satirical humor and a lot of harsh truths.


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