By Monica Ali
(Scribner, Paperback, 9781451635508, 288pp.)
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
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W hat if Princess Diana hadn’t died? Diana’s life and marriage were fairy tale and nightmare rolled into one. Adored by millions, in her personal life she suffered rejection, heartbreak, and betrayal. Surrounded by glamour and glitz and the constant attentions of the press, she fought to carve a meaningful role for herself in helping the needy and dispossessed. Had she lived, what direction would her life have taken? How would she have matured into her forties and beyond?
Untold Story is about the nature of celebrity, the meaning of identity, and the finding of one’s place in the world. Like Diana, the fictional princess who is the novel’s heroine is both icon and iconoclast. She touches many millions of lives and hearts around the world, sharing the details of her troubled marriage and her eating disorder and reaching out as has no other royal before her. But she is troubled and on the brink of disaster. Will she ever find peace and happiness in her own life, or will the curse of fame always be too great?
Monica Ali has been named by Granta as one of the twenty best young British novelists. She is the author of In the Kitchen, Alentejo Blue, and Brick Lane, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She lives in London with her husband and two children.
"Monica Ali has always been a brilliant and provocative writer, but Untold Story is not only a gripping read but a compassionate portrait of a woman in turmoil--her finest novel yet."--Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story
“Haunting and intensely readable, this is something between a thriller and a ghost story.” —Lady Antonia Fraser
“A terrific, clever, multi-layered and subtle book (and let’s not forget - hugely entertaining!).”—Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat and Blueeyedboy
“It is always said that Princess Diana was hunted and haunted, that her story contained the seeds of a contemporary myth. It was obvious that only the imagination of a first-rate novelist could master that material and make it fully and unforgettably alive. We now have the book we have been waiting for in Monica Ali's Untold Story. It is a beautiful, gripping accomplishment, a treat for the heart and the head, and will be a joy to readers who believe in the possibility that a book can transform your basic sense of life.”—Andrew O'Hagan, Booker-shortlisted author of Our Fathers, Be Near Me and The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog
“Ali tells her story with unobtrusive, restrained prose... We’ve long since disappeared into the fiction. Lydia has become her own character, Diana a ghost: naive and vulnerable, self-centered, familiar to us in her self-destruction and her dark fairy-tale life but now entirely real and sympathetic. This remarkable transformation allows Ali to ponder the essence of what makes a person: in this case the sheer tenacity of a clever fighter, both silly and bold –and clearly the author’s impetus for taking on, with astounding confidence, the woman who captivated the entrie world.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“An unapologetic hybrid of a novel, a literary examination of identity and a page-turning thriller, complete with car chase.”—O, the Oprah magazine
“Ms. Ali builds tension as slickly as any thriller screenwriter: we find ourselves avidly rooting for Lydia to elude her stalker and somehow to hold on to the normal life she has made for herself.”—Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
“A dazzling feat... All the pistons are firing.”—Washington Post
“Norman Rockwell couldn’t paint a more affectionate portrait of small-town America.”—USA Today
“A masterpiece of suspense… This is a startlingly intelligent, perceptive and entertaining piece of fiction. It's quite brilliant.”—Daily Mirror (UK)