The Great Pretenders

Hollywood in the Fifties: the stars who glittered in the heavens, and the directors, producers and studio chiefs who made their lives hell. From the beach at Malibu to leafy Laurel Canyon, from the soundstages of Empire Pictures to wailing saxes in jazz clubs on Central Avenue, Roxanne Granville’s sunlit world is shadowed by secrets. She must navigate dangerous depths and shoals that will test her integrity and her capacity for love.

“She’s so entertaining a writer that it takes a while to realize how smart she is.”

~The New Yorker

“Her characters change and grow, and the story, instead of being reduced to a central issue, develops out of one.”

~Times Literary Supplement (London)

“Kalpakian can make 70 lines just as enduring as their equal in pages. And her writing is clearly inspired by a fire in the belly.”

~Bloomsbury Review

“Here we have a novel of great strength and scope with the impact and exhaustive character studies of the work of Henry James or Saul Bellow.”

~West Coast Review of Books

“Wry and ripping one moment and tender and lyrical the next, Kalpakian works several plots at once and neatly and obliquely weaves them into the narrative to the degree that the past is always impinging on the present.”

~Boston Globe

Also By Laura

About Laura

Laura Kalpakian was nominated for the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for American Cookery. She won a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Award (twice), the Anahid Award for an American writer of Armenian descent, the PEN West Award, and the Stand International Short Fiction Competition. She has had residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Montalvo Center for the Arts, and Hawthornden Castle in Scotland. She is the author of sixteen novels, and four collections, and over a hundred stories published in collections, anthologies, literary journals and magazines in the USA and the UK.

Latest Posts

High Noon

High Noon

I never tire of watching High Noon. Unlike most films from the 1950’s, it seems to me clean, sleek. The tensions are perfectly paced, the music (and the classic song Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darlin’) lope along until they too escalate with the action. The intricate relationships of the characters play across the screen with understated grace and intensity.

read more
The MG

The MG

If there is some glorious afterlife where one relives moments of tremendous earthly happiness, then for me, one of those would be me driving a vintage MG convertible, zipping along on a narrow road, Pacific Ocean on one side, dry California hills on the other, music blaring. I am wearing sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat.

read more
Trumbo: The Blacklist portrayed in film

Trumbo: The Blacklist portrayed in film

You can see Trumbo at the Pickford–one night only–May 2nd at 6 PM. I will introduce the film and talk about its connections to my novel. Your ticket also entitles you to a glass of champagne in a nod to old Hollywood glamour. Hope to see you there.

read more