The Private Lives of Pippa Lee
By Rebecca Miller
(Picador, Paperback, 9780312428334, 256pp.)
Publication Date: August 18, 2009
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What part of our selves do we hide away in order to have a stable, prosperous life?
Pippa Lee has just such a life in place at age fifty, when her older husband, a retired publisher, decides that they should move to a retirement community outside New York City. Pippa is suddenly deprived of the stimulation and distraction that had held everything in place. She begins losing track of her own mind; her foundations start to shudder, and gradually we learn the truth of the young life that led her finally to settle down in marriage--years of neglect and rebellion, wild transgressions and powerful defiance.
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee is the study of a brave, curious, multilayered woman--an acutely intelligent portrait of the many lives behind a single name.
REBECCA MILLER was a painter and actress before turning her hand to writing and directing. She is the author of the short-story collection Personal Velocity, her feature film adaptation of which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, and the writer-director of The Ballad of Jack and Rose.
- Discuss the novel’s title. What private aspects of Pippa’s life did she have to leave behind when she married Herb? How does her true self compare with the persona she has to present to the public at Marigold Village?
"Dreamy, elegant . . . Miller's astute, beautifully nuanced novel explores the unpredictable consequences of choosing to live a safe but emotionally compromised life."--Daily Mail (UK)
"Magnificent . . . Miller's depiction of her title character's tangled universe is so nuanced, so lovingly detailed, that it's impossible not to get drawn in."--Nylon
"Miller beautifully renders an American woman's grab and grab again at happiness."--The Believer
"Strikingly unconventional."--Elle"Miller brings a simmering intelligence and verbal flair to this deft exploration of the courage required to own your own life."--Booklist "Poignant and intriguing."--Daily Express (UK) Praise for Personal Velocity: "All these stories are as perfect as the form itself allows--surprising, grotesque, inspiring. . . . [Miller is] a wonderful writer."--The Washington Post Book World "[Personal Velocity] is eye-opening . . . always humane, always honest, and always entertaining."--Los Angeles Times Book Review