• $11.99

Publisher Description

"A sure comic touch . . . smart and sweet . . . a tribute to the pleasures of friendship." —The New Yorker

In the heart of New York City, a group of artistic friends struggles with society's standards of beauty. At the center are Barb and Lily, two women at opposite ends of the beauty spectrum, but with the same problem: each fears she will never find a love that can overcome her looks. Barb, a stunningly beautiful costume designer, makes herself ugly in hopes of finding true love. Meanwhile, her friend Lily, a brilliantly talented but plain-looking musician, goes to fantastic lengths to attract the man who has rejected her—with results that are as touching as they are transformative.

To complicate matters, Barb and Lily discover that they may have a murderer in their midst, that Barb’s calm disposition is more dangerously provocative than her beauty ever was, and that Lily's musical talents are more powerful than anyone could have imagined. Part literary whodunit, part surrealist farce, The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty is a smart, modern-day fairy tale. With biting wit and offbeat charm, Amanda Filipacchi illuminates the labyrinthine relationship between beauty, desire, and identity, asking at every turn: what does it truly mean to allow oneself to be seen?

Fiction & Literature
February 16
W. W. Norton & Company
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Java Mama ,

Extravagantly Perceptive and Soul Opening

The last time I picked up a novel that I actually wanted to finish was so long ago I can't remember the title or the author. I have tried and failed to read countless books that didn't grip me and felt a responsibility to finish them because I'd be doing the author an injustice. However, with this novel, I have found that it did me a justice and has given me insight to a multitude of blindnesses and personal attributes, believed to be defects, that I have found a new appreciation for.

From start till finish I have been engaged with these characters. I have seen my traits in them and my tendencies to be similar to theirs. Barb, Lily, Georgia, Penelope, Jack, Gabriel and Peter have all caused a shift in my viewpoints of my friends and family, as well as myself, that I can't help but ache to read the book again. If you're looking for a gripping piece of literature, you've found it. This will forever be a novel that changed me. I can say that, that rarely happens.

Thank you for this amazing feat. I will forever cherish it.

Lotusgoddess ,

Absolutely disappointing and terribly written

This book's premise is wonderful and had such promise! Instead of finding a well-written novel however, I found a terribly written book that could've been written by a middle-schooler. This was by far the worst 12.99 I have ever spent. I read 2-3 books per week, and I have read some that I didn't all-together like, but this book was almost painful to read.

http.court ,


Overall it was a really good story with good morals. However, like everyone else said, it did get weird towards the end. It was still worth reading though

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