"Let’s get this out of the way," says Holly. "I’m a white woman who likes black men." But that doesn't explain why she's caught up in the web connecting crime families across the lines of race. Or why her friends are getting shot. Or whether there's anything she can do to stop the killing.
New York City, 1992. There goes the neighborhood!
"A sexy, funny, tender-hearted puzzler about a young woman sifting the ashes of America's endless class warfare." -- Domenic Stansberry, Edgar Award Winner and Author of Naked Moon.
Available now in paperback or for Kindle. To order from Amazon, please click here. Nope. Publisher has gone out of business and book is now out-of-print.
And now an audiobook thanks to Jim Fowler and Maria Spassoff. (Some free downloads available at audible.com. Please email me at DianeLefer@gmail.com for the code.)
From the U.K., Sakina Murdock at the BookBird reviews it here.
My self-interview and excerpt from the book here, at The Nervous Breakdown. (Thank you, Gina Frangello and Leah Tallon.)
I'm Charlene Wilson's Highlighted Author, the week of January 28, 2013.
The 21st-century book tour turns out to be via blogs instead of in person, so here are links to my guest blogger posts:
September 7th, at Elizabeth Spann Craig’s site, Mystery Writing Is Murder
August 25th, an interview at Pat Bertram Introduces.
August 22nd at Creative Writing Addict, the site of historical fiction author Gretchen Elhassani.
and at Indie Book Spot. (And–what an honor–Gbanabom Hallowell, poet and journalist in Sierra Leone, has asked to reprint this piece in Sierra Arts. Do check out his online magazine to read new writing from Sierra
Leone, Africa. Read. Think. Enjoy.)
August 15th at the Hunger Mountain site (with thanks to Cynthia Newberry
Martin) I look at giving equal weight to characters with opposing views.
Ray Bradbury’s passing made me think about how genre fiction slips past barriers of
censorship. Mary Ann Loesch posted this in All Things Writing.
From Andrew Tonkovich's (Mr. Bib's) column in OC Weekly:
Nobody Wakes Up Literary: Writers & Activists & Teachers Saturday's Lit O
By Andrew Tonkovich Sun., Mar. 31 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: OC Bookly
... author-teacher-activist Diane Lefer, winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize from Sarabande Books for California Transit, has written a mystery novel. While I generally eschew this genre (mostly because I'm too busy reading other books), I had a jolly good time reading Nobody Wakes Up Pretty, a smart and sexy book, every page an attack on all that is decent, from the wry title on.
The smart, attractive heroine of this subversive little novel joins forces with her charismatic homeless (!) black (!) boyfriend, toward figuring out a murder in the Big Rotten Apple, circa 1992. The humor is vividly and subversively provocative, including a scene involving the screening of a porno snuff film featuring a monkey and President Bush G.W. Bush, just to be clear about the expectations Lefer has about her audience, and their willingness to embrace - or not - yes, the perfect metaphor for that particular political era. Of course, we'll be talking mostly about So Cal on Saturday, to which Lefer is a transplant. She's an amazing person, who worked at the LA Zoo with primates and as a translator for people stuck in INS detention. And wrote about both. At past events, she has arrived wearing the jumpsuit of Guantanamo prisoners. One of the smartest people, let alone writers, I know.
Readers weigh in at Goodreads:
Jan 11, 2013Giano Cromley rated it 5 of 5 stars
NYC is the central character in this wild, fun read. The author recreates the world of these characters exceptionally well and manages to generate intrigue that keeps you reading from the first page.
May 27, 2012Coffeechit rated it 5 of 5 stars
I just finished the book and I really enjoyed it. Great characters, memorable scenes. It's funny and sad and intense.
Deborah rated it 5 of 5 stars
I love everything Diane writes. No matter the genre, her characters are always deep, flawed, compelling, fascinating, and utterly believable.
Readers weigh in at Amazon:
I started Nobody Wakes Up Pretty last night and finished it this morning. There's not an extraneous word in the book. I couldn't put it down. It's real. It's funny. It's touching. It matters. And unforgettable characters:
--From the main character Holly: "Just drew my pay in one world, my breath in the other."
--From Junie: "I do one thing at a time," he said. "If I'm eating, I don't drink. If I'm drinking, I don't eat."
Everything you want in a book. -- Cynthia Newberry Martin
An amazing story with characters so real that I miss them now that I have finished the book. Diane Lefer's prose is absolutely haunting - I found myself repeating lines from the book as I went through my day. This novel speaks the truth, even when it is not pretty. I highly recommend it.--Susan Dorsey
And on Amazon.UK:
For a long time, the literary world has suffered plots which dance around their main issues and characters too convulted; not Lefer's gritty rendition of protagonist Holly's life. The plot combines a subtle humour with an extraordinary honesty.
It's the kind of plain speaking prose which you can associate with and one which has been desperately needed. Hard to put down and heartfelt, it's clear that nobody wakes up pretty; thank goodness somebody finally said it.--A. Durrant
And you can add your own review here at AskDavid.com