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  • Published: 2 August 2022
  • ISBN: 9780385547833
  • Imprint: Knopf US
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $49.99

The Lunar Housewife

A Novel



A stylish and suspenseful historical page-turner following an up-and-coming journalist who stumbles onto a web of secrets, deceptions, and mysteries at a popular new literary magazine--inspired by the true story of CIA intervention in Cold War American arts and letters.

New York City, 1953: Louise Leithauser's star is on the rise. She's filed some of the best pieces at her boyfriend Joe's brand new literary magazine, Downtown (albeit under a male pseudonym), her relationship still makes her weak at the knees, and the science fiction romance she's writing on the side, "The Lunar Housewife," is going swimmingly. But when she overhears Joe and his business partner fighting about listening devices and death threats, Louise can't help but investigate, and she quickly finds herself wading into dangerous waters.

As Louise pieces together rumors, hunches, and clues, the picture begins to come together--Downtown's strings are being pulled by someone powerful, and that someone doesn't want artists or writers criticizing Uncle Sam. Meanwhile, opportunities are falling in Louise's lap that she'd have to be crazy to refuse, including an interview with America's most famous living author, Ernest Hemingway. Can Louise stand by and let doors keep opening for her, while the establishment sells out and censors her fellow writers? As her suspicions and paranoia mount, Louise's own novel "The Lunar Housewife" changes shape, colored by her newfound knowledge. And when Louise is forced to consider her future sooner than she planned, she needs to decide whether she can trust Joe for the rest of her life.

Peppered with cameos from real life luminaries such as Truman Capote and James Baldwin, and full of period detail and nail-biting tension, Caroline Woods channels 1950s New York glamour as Louise's investigation brings her face to face with shocking secrets, brutal sexism, and life or death consequences. Deeply researched and propulsive, The Lunar Housewife is a historical thriller rich with meaning for modern readers.

  • Published: 2 August 2022
  • ISBN: 9780385547833
  • Imprint: Knopf US
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $49.99

Praise for The Lunar Housewife

"The Lunar Housewife is written with tremendous skill and an ingenious form. Caroline Woods is an imaginative artist, who has combined historical fiction with science fiction to produce such an engaging novel, but ultimately this is serious fiction that resonates with a keen intelligence." --Ha Jin, National Book Award and PEN/Faulkner award winning author of Waiting "The Lunar Housewife is wonderfully entertaining and slyly subversive. Scrappy, self-made Louise struggles to make a name for herself as a magazine writer in fifties-era New York, but slowly comes to realize that CIA censorship hovers over every byline. Funneling her frustration with propagandist expectations and constricting women's roles into a secret novel, Louise struggles to reconcile her old dreams with her new world, where voices like hers are muzzled if they don't fit the perfect American dream. Caroline Woods pens a story that will linger in the memory!" --Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network "The Lunar Housewife is a wild, rollicking ride that shows us the 1950s were anything but simpler times, particularly for budding journalist Louise Leithauser. Woods deftly rockets the reader through the Cold War, spy networks, living on the moon, and even into the life of Ernest Hemingway. Louise is the perfect feminist heroine, punching through the lies and misogyny to find her own truth in the world. Truly the most fun I've had reading a book in a long time." --Crystal King, author of Feast of Sorrow and The Chef's Secret "Caroline Woods gives us two-for-one in this artful mystery: a young writer negotiating the New York City publishing world in the 1950s, and the sci-fi novel she is writing based on her experience of sexism and intrigue, secrets and deceit. The Lunar Housewife is an entertaining read with sympathetically drawn characters." --Daphne Kalotay, author of Russian Winter and Sight Reading "The Lunar Housewife is a smart and stylish Cold War page-turner about a young woman who uncovers suspicious forces at work in the male-dominated literary world of 1950s New York City. The plotting of this clever and provocative story-within-a-story is both elegant and riveting. I loved this book and didn’t want it to end!" --Elise Hooper, author of Angels of the Pacific "Atmospheric writing pulled me in from the very first pages and an engaging novel-within a-novel kept me enthralled until the final words. Set during the Cold War, Caroline Woods expertly brings to life aspiring novelist Louise, who within her potentially controversial work-in-progress brings to life the character of Katherine, an American outcast who is sent on a mission with a Russian hero. While I enjoyed the parallels in each storyline, Woods also gives both women their unique set of challenges and growth, secrets and mistrust, twists and turns. A brilliant and wholly entertaining execution." --Jenni L. Walsh, author of Becoming Bonnie and A Betting Woman

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