by Aria Beth Sloss 5 Feb 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Coming of age in the patrician neighborhood of Pasadena, California during the 1960s, Rebecca Madden and her beautiful, reckless friend Alex dream of lives beyond their mothers' narrow expectations. Their struggle to define themselves against the backdrop of an American cultural revolution unites them early on, until one sweltering evening the summer before their last year of college, when a single act of betrayal changes everything. Decades later, Rebecca's haunting meditation on the past reveals the truth about that night, the years that followed, and the friendship that shaped her.
Autobiography of Us is an achingly beautiful portrait of a decades-long bond. A rare and powerful glimpse into the lives of two women caught between repression and revolution, it casts new light on the sacrifices, struggles, victories and defeats of a generation.
"A smooth first-person narrative
The story's hopeful end is tempered with the realization that, had the central characters been born a generation later, maybe their lives would have been better." Publishers Weekly
"Captivating, engrossing, surprising Sloss' debut novel sweeps across the tumultuous events of the late 1950s through the 1980s and celebrates the terrible struggle to find one's identity as it elegiacally rues the necessary losses." - Kirkus
"In Aria Beth Sloss's marvelous debut novel, the passage of time brings love and pain and friendship, then reverses them all - a brilliant chronicle of women's lives in America." - Andrew Sean Greer, author of The Story of a Marriage and The Confessions of Max Tivoli
"A fiercely intelligent and captivating debut and an intimate portrait of female friendship, Autobiography of Us illuminates the challenges faced by an entire generation of American women." Jennifer Vanderbes, author of Easter Island and Strangers at the Feast
Aria Beth Sloss is a graduate of Yale University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She is a recipient of fellowships from the Iowa Arts Foundation, the Yaddo Corporation, and the Vermont Studio Center, and her writing has appeared in Glimmer Train, the Harvard Review, and online at The Paris Review and FiveChapters. She lives in New York City.