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An ambitious young woman navigates the slippery world of advertising - and the equally slippery question of who she wants to be. Mad Men meets The Devil Wears Prada in this sharply observed and savagely wise debut novel.

Casey Pendergast is getting hers. Once a book-loving English major, Casey has put her talent for storytelling to work at a top ad agency, where her career has skyrocketed: She knows what people want, and how to give it to them.

So when Casey's hard-to-please boss assigns her to a top-secret campaign that pairs literary authors with corporations hungry for upmarket cachet, Casey is thrilled to merge her current and former interests. Crisscrossing America to woo her former literary idols, Casey brings together some unlikely combinations: An Internet-famous poet shills Italian athletic wear, a short-story writer crafts a campaign for a plus-size clothing chain, a reclusive nature writer signs away her life's work to a manufacturer of granola bars.

Casey's best friend, Susan, thinks she's a sellout, but Casey can't help it that she has champagne taste. Spurred by ambition, Casey ignores her own nagging doubts - until she falls in love with one of her authors and realizes the human cost of her success. By the time the year's biggest book festival rolls around, it will take every ounce of Casey's moxie to survive with her soul intact.

Told in an unforgettable voice - plucky and razor-sharp, equal parts feminist and pop culture - A Lady's Guide to Selling Out is the story of a young woman untangling the contradictions of our culture, and finding her way out of the rat race by returning to her first love: literature.

Advance praise for A Lady's Guide to Selling Out

"A Lady's Guide to Selling Out perfectly captures the glamorous highs and hilarious lows of the cutthroat world of new advertising - the Wild West of our time. Casey is an unforgettable heroine, a feminist Don Draper for our age, navigating the bizarre ways in which art and commerce intersect. Sally Franson's debut is exhilarating, terrifying, and totally addictive." - Lucy Sykes, author of Fitness Junkie

"If Jane Austen's Emma and Dorothy Parker had a three-way with David Copperfield (not the magician) , Casey Pendergast would be their wisecracking, heartbroken love child. In Sally Franson's smart, funny, and sharp-eyed novel, terrible mistakes are made and, mostly, rectified. A happy ending, a true heart, and a very good and clever time. Perfect." - Amy Bloom, author of Away

"A wonderfully comic and smart novel about one woman's trip to our contemporary Vanity Fair, complete with Instagram, Twitter, and messaging of every sort. Both funny and sobering, this book is a remarkable debut from an amazingly prescient and talented young writer." - Charles Baxter, author of The Feast of Love

"Funny, fast-paced, and seductive, A Lady's Guide to Selling Out is about books and sex and ambition and love and money and the various undeniable attractions of staying true to oneself versus (for the right price) selling out. Sally Franson's debut novel is hilariously terrific." - Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members

About the Author

Sally Franson

Sally Franson received her education from Barnard College and the University of Minnesota. She has received recognition from The MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, the Sewanee Writer's Conference, Glimmer Train, Best American Travel Writing, and more. She writes a monthly humor column for The Loft Literary Center and her nonfiction has been featured in The Progressive, The Guardian, and NPR Weekend Edition.

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