Mercury Pictures presents A novel

Anthony Marra

Book - 2022

"When we first meet Maria Lagana, she's rewriting scripts at Mercury Pictures, a failing Hollywood studio known for its schlock. Maria's job is to re-craft dialogue and action to circumvent the censors, a skill she's mysteriously adept at. Born in Italy, as a teenager Maria witnessed Mussolini's censors arrest her father, an event that will destroy her family and burden Maria with questions of guilt and responsibility she will carry with her throughout this wondrous, far...-reaching novel. Like many before her, Maria has come to Hollywood to outrun her past. Despite its cheap production values and factory-approach to making movies, Mercury Pictures is a nexus of refugees and emigres, each struggling to reinvent themselves in the land of celluloid. There's Artie, the studio boss, a man of many toupees who barely escaped the pogroms of Eastern Europe; there's Anna, a set designer, who ran afoul of Hitler; and there's Eddie Lu, a struggling actor and Maria's boyfriend, who despite being born in Los Angeles encounters the worst of America's xenophobia. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, everything changes for Maria and her world, forcing her come to terms with her father's fate--and her own"--

Saved in:
10 people waiting
1 being processed

1st Floor New Shelf Show me where

FICTION/Marra, Anthony
0 / 4 copies available

Bookmobile Fiction Show me where

FICTION/Marra, Anthony
0 / 1 copies available

1st Floor EXPRESS Shelf Show me where

FICTION/Marra, Anthony
0 / 2 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor New Shelf FICTION/Marra, Anthony (NEW SHELF) Due Oct 20, 2022
1st Floor New Shelf FICTION/Marra Anthony (NEW SHELF) Due Sep 30, 2022
1st Floor New Shelf FICTION/Marra Anthony (NEW SHELF) Due Oct 13, 2022
1st Floor New Shelf FICTION/Marra Anthony (NEW SHELF) Due Oct 14, 2022
Bookmobile Fiction FICTION/Marra, Anthony Due Oct 11, 2022
1st Floor EXPRESS Shelf FICTION/Marra, Anthony Due Oct 9, 2022
1st Floor EXPRESS Shelf FICTION/Marra, Anthony Due Oct 1, 2022
Subjects
Genres
Historical fiction
Novels
Published
London ; New York : Hogarth [2022]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
416 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9780451495204
0451495209
9780593449165
0593449169
Main Author
Anthony Marra (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* In 1941, Maria Lagana has risen to the rank of associate producer at Mercury Pictures, a fledgling movie studio run by Artie Feldman, the fast-talking, quick-witted impresario of B-movies constantly seeking the imprimatur of the Production Code. Maria's ascent from the typing pool is partially due to her moxie but is largely owing to her lifelong passion for film; she attended the cinema instead of church every Sunday with her father, Giuseppe. Maria fled Italy with her mother years earlier when Giuseppe, once a prominent defense attorney in Rome, was imprisoned for subversive activities against Mussolini's fascist regime. Award-winning and best-selling Marra (The Tsar of Love and Techno, 2015) skillfully alternates between Hollywood and Italy, dexterously weaving the two threads together when a young man, Nino Picone, arrives at Mercury Pictures fresh from San Lorenzo with news of Giuseppe. Marra's prose is fluid and sprightly; each sentence is imbued with wit and heart and dances to its own internal rhythm. The dialogue is crisp and filled with ripostes and underline-worthy bon mots. The characters are simultaneously larger than life and all too human, utterly memorable. The historically iconic settings are brought sensuously to life by Marra's cinematic eye. Marra has ascended to the top of the literary ranks. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* In 1941, Maria Lagana has risen to the rank of associate producer at Mercury Pictures, a fledgling movie studio run by Artie Feldman, the fast-talking, quick-witted impresario of B-movies constantly seeking the imprimatur of the Production Code. Maria's ascent from the typing pool is partially due to her moxie but is largely owing to her lifelong passion for film; she attended the cinema instead of church every Sunday with her father, Giuseppe. Maria fled Italy with her mother years earlier when Giuseppe, once a prominent defense attorney in Rome, was imprisoned for subversive activities against Mussolini's fascist regime. Award-winning and best-selling Marra (The Tsar of Love and Techno, 2015) skillfully alternates between Hollywood and Italy, dexterously weaving the two threads together when a young man, Nino Picone, arrives at Mercury Pictures fresh from San Lorenzo with news of Giuseppe. Marra's prose is fluid and sprightly; each sentence is imbued with wit and heart and dances to its own internal rhythm. The dialogue is crisp and filled with ripostes and underline-worthy bon mots. The characters are simultaneously larger than life and all too human, utterly memorable. The historically iconic settings are brought sensuously to life by Marra's cinematic eye. Marra has ascended to the top of the literary ranks. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Leaving 1920s Italy for Los Angeles after inadvertently causing her father's arrest, movie-besotted Maria eventually becomes an associate producer at Mercury Pictures. As World War II dawns, Maria is struggling with her personal life even as the studio struggles fi nancially, but soon it's flooded with refugee European artists—modernist poets writing racy movie scripts. Then a stranger who knew her father arrives to remind her of his fate. From the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. Copyright 2022 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Leaving 1920s Italy for Los Angeles after inadvertently causing her father's arrest, movie-besotted Maria eventually becomes an associate producer at Mercury Pictures. As World War II dawns, Maria is struggling with her personal life even as the studio struggles fi nancially, but soon it's flooded with refugee European artists—modernist poets writing racy movie scripts. Then a stranger who knew her father arrives to remind her of his fate. From the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. Copyright 2022 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Marra's meticulously crafted latest (after the collection The Tsar of Love and Techno) follows a host of outsiders as they try to make it through pre-WWII Italy and wartime Los Angeles with some of their morals intact. Teenage Maria Lagana and her mother leave Italy for Los Angeles after Fascists exile her father. By 1941, Maria is B-movie producer Artie Feldman's second-in-command. Artie, a toupee-wearing loudmouth with a heart of gold (he'll hire any down on their luck European exile), is at war with the censors, his twin brother/business partner, and the bankers with a stake in Mercury Pictures. Marra skillfully switches between small-town Sicily and a still-small Los Angeles where, post–Pearl Harbor, Maria must register as an internal enemy and her Chinese American boyfriend, Eddie, has to flee assailants who are convinced he's a Japanese spy. The plot is intricate: Artie tries to release a political movie and fend off creditors, Maria and Eddie plot to make a film, a Berlin-born model-builder recreates her city, a Sicilian photographer flees Italy. While Marra's pleasure in the details and argot of the past occasionally feels like overkill, this tough-minded, funny outing exemplifies what Maria calls the democratic promise of "the miniaturist's gaze," in which "all were worthy." Thanks to Marra, the pleasure is contagious. (July) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

After America’s entry into WWII, Maria Lagana, an associate producer at Mercury Pictures, rises through a maze of conflicting politics, divided loyalties and jockeying positions until a man from her imprisoned father’s past threatens her carefully constructed facade.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"When we first meet Maria Lagana, she's rewriting scripts at Mercury Pictures, a failing Hollywood studio known for its schlock. Maria's job is to re-craft dialogue and action to circumvent the censors, a skill she's mysteriously adept at. Born in Italy,as a teenager Maria witnessed Mussolini's censors arrest her father, an event that will destroy her family and burden Maria with questions of guilt and responsibility she will carry with her throughout this wondrous, far-reaching novel. Like many before her, Maria has come to Hollywood to outrun her past. Despite its cheap production values and factory-approach to making movies, Mercury Pictures is a nexus of refugees and emigres, each struggling to reinvent themselves in the land of celluloid. There's Artie, the studio boss, a man of many toupees who barely escaped the pogroms of Eastern Europe; there's Anna, a set designer, who ran afoul of Hitler; and there's Eddie Lu, a struggling actor and Maria's boyfriend, who despite being born in Los Angeles encounters the worst of America's xenophobia. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, everything changes for Maria and her world, forcing her come to terms with her father's fate--and her own"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The epic tale of a brilliant woman who must reinvent herself to survive, moving from Mussolini’s Italy to 1940s Los Angeles—a timeless story of love, deceit, and sacrifice from the award-winning author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena“A genuinely moving and life-affirming novel that’s a true joy to read.”—Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere“A great literary read.”—Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch HouseLike many before her, Maria Lagana has come to Hollywood to outrun her past. Born in Rome, where every Sunday her father took her to the cinema instead of church, Maria immigrates with her mother to Los Angeles after a childhood transgression leads to her father’s arrest.Fifteen years later, on the eve of America’s entry into World War II, Maria is an associate producer at Mercury Pictures, trying to keep her personal and professional lives from falling apart. Her mother won’t speak to her. Her boss, a man of many toupees, has been summoned to Washington by congressional investigators. Her boyfriend, a virtuoso Chinese American actor, can’t escape the studio’s narrow typecasting. And the studio itself, Maria’s only home in exile, teeters on the verge of bankruptcy.Over the coming months, as the bright lights go dark across Los Angeles, Mercury Pictures becomes a nexus of European émigrés: modernist poets trying their luck as B-movie screenwriters, once-celebrated architects becoming scale-model miniaturists, and refugee actors finding work playing the very villains they fled. While the world descends into war, Maria rises through a maze of conflicting politics, divided loyalties, and jockeying ambitions. But when the arrival of a stranger from her father’s past threatens Maria’s carefully constructed facade, she must finally confront her father’s fate—and her own.Written with intelligence, wit, and an exhilarating sense of possibility, Mercury Pictures Presents spans many moods and tones, from the heartbreaking to the ecstatic. It is a love letter to life’s bit players, a panorama of an era that casts a long shadow over our own, and a tour de force by a novelist whose work The Washington Post calls “a flash in the heavens that makes you look up and believe in miracles.”