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Little Known Facts: A Novel
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Published:
Bloomsbury Publishing 2013
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Description

The people who orbit around Renn Ivins, an actor of Harrison Ford-like stature—his girlfriends, his children, his ex-wives, those on the periphery—long to experience the glow of his flame. Anna and Will are Renn's grown children, struggling to be authentic versions of themselves in a world where they are seen as less important extensions of their father. They are both drawn to and repelled by the man who overshadows every part of them.Most of us can imagine the perks of celebrity, but Little Known Facts offers a clear-eyed story of its effects—the fallout of fame and fortune on family members and others who can neither fully embrace nor ignore the superstar in their midst. With Little Known Facts, Christine Sneed emerges as one of the most insightful chroniclers of our celebrity-obsessed age, telling a story of influence and affluence, of forging identity and happiness and a moral compass; the question being, if we could have anything on earth, would we choose correctly?

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
02/12/2013
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781608199686
ASIN:
B009K4YRU6
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Christine Sneed. (2013). Little Known Facts: A Novel. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Christine Sneed. 2013. Little Known Facts: A Novel. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Christine Sneed, Little Known Facts: A Novel. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Christine Sneed. Little Known Facts: A Novel. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:15:26
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:44:34
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      • bioText: Christine Sneed is the author of Little Known Facts. She has a creative writing MFA from Indiana University and teaches creative writing at DePaul University, Northwestern University and Pacific University. Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry won AWP's 2009 Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, first-fiction category, was named the Chicago Writer's Association Book of the Year, and the recipient of Ploughshares' 2011 first-book prize, the John C. Zacharis Award. It was also long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and named one of the seven best books of the year by Time Out Chicago. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Best American Short Stories, PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, Ploughshares, Southern Review, Massachusetts Review, New England Review, Notre Dame Review, and a number of other journals. Visit her website at http://www.christinesneed.com.
      • name: Christine Sneed
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Bloomsbury USA
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title
Little Known Facts
fullDescription

The people who orbit around Renn Ivins, an actor of Harrison Ford-like stature—his girlfriends, his children, his ex-wives, those on the periphery—long to experience the glow of his flame. Anna and Will are Renn's grown children, struggling to be authentic versions of themselves in a world where they are seen as less important extensions of their father. They are both drawn to and repelled by the man who overshadows every part of them.Most of us can imagine the perks of celebrity, but Little Known Facts offers a clear-eyed story of its effects—the fallout of fame and fortune on family members and others who can neither fully embrace nor ignore the superstar in their midst. With Little Known Facts, Christine Sneed emerges as one of the most insightful chroniclers of our celebrity-obsessed age, telling a story of influence and affluence, of forging identity and happiness and a moral compass; the question being, if we could have anything on earth, would we choose correctly?

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times Book Review (cover)
      • content: Impressive. . . hypnotic. . . hard to put down. . . . Little Known Facts is juicy enough to appeal to our prurience but smart enough not to make us feel dirty afterward. . . . Sneed is such a gifted writer. . . . Her depiction of both proximity to celebrity and celebrity itself had me totally convinced.
      • premium: False
      • source: Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins and National Book Award finalist for The Zero
      • content: I grabbed Christine Sneed's novel Little Known Facts on my way out the door this weekend and ate it up. It's a great canny read: wry, observant, inventive in style, rich in character. Christine Sneed knows her Hollywood, but more than that, she knows her people.
      • premium: False
      • source: Bonnie Jo Campbell, National Book Award finalist for American Salvage
      • content: The gravitational pull of fame in a celebrity-obsessed culture informs this smart, fresh debut novel about a family living in the shadow cast by its larger-than-life patriarch.
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist (starred review)
      • content: An ensnaring first novel that delves into the complex challenges and anguish of living with and in the shadow of celebrity. Sneed's wit, curiosity, empathy, and ability to divine the perfect detail propel this psychologically exquisite, superbly realized novel of intriguing, caricature-transcending characters and predicaments...As Sneed illuminates each facet of her percussively choreographed plot via delectably slant disclosures—overheard conversations, snooping, tabloids, confessions under duress, and journal entries, among them—she spotlights 'little known facts' about the cost of fame, our erotic obsession with movie-star power, and where joy can be found.
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • content: Goes beyond the tabloid headlines... Sneed effectively blurs the line between fact and fiction and brings each character to life.
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 22, 2012
        In Sneed's unimaginative debut novel, middle-aged Hollywood heartthrob Renn Ivins, blessed with fame, fortune, and good looks, is unable to keep his personal life from falling apart. He philanders and makes questionable decisions, disappointing and confounding his children (rudderless 20-something Billy and young medical intern Anna), not to mention his ex-wives and lovers. On a sentence level, Sneed's prose is confident and seamless. She expends a great deal of narrative time fleshing out the insecurities and emotions of Renn and his entourage. Chapters unfold with eight different points of view, but instead of adding complexity or perspective to what has already been represented, these shifts are mostly skin-deep, revealing tawdry but predictable details, romantic betrayals, and other "little known facts" one might find in the tabloids. The characters do have their quirks—Elise Connor, the young starlet Renn dates and Billy falls in love with, shamefully orders new suitcases and clothes online because she cannot bring herself to unpack after traveling—but rarely depart from what we've come to expect from celebrities. While real-life fans may zealously follow the ups and downs of their idols' lives, Sneed (Portraits of a Few People I've Made Cry) takes for granted that readers will feel the same fascination for her fictional superstar and his private struggles. Agent: Lisa Bankoff, ICM.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        November 1, 2012
        Sneed's debut novel, which follows a short story collection (Portraits of a Few People I've Made Cry, 2010), goes beyond the tabloid headlines and chronicles the lives of those who orbit a famous actor. Celebrity has its perks as well as its drawbacks, and revered movie icon Renn Ivins' life is no exception. Adored by fans throughout the world, those closest to him also are affected by his aura and not necessarily in a positive way. His earnings provide financial security for his children, ex-wives, family members and girlfriends, but Ivins' fame is a double-edged sword. Both of Ivins' adult children become involved with lovers who secretly thrill at the chance to be connected to his inner circle. Will, his son, coasts through life engulfed in a sea of contradicting emotions. He loves Ivins and inwardly strives to please him, but he also resents his father's interference and feels as if he will never measure up to his expectations, so he compensates in other not-so-healthy ways. At the same time, although he despises himself for it, he uses his father's name to impress others. Anna, Will's sister, is a brilliant but naive medical student who rationalizes her questionable choices and has more in common with her father than she realizes. Time has more or less softened Ivins' first wife's attitude toward him. A successful pediatrician who has lived a solitary life since their divorce 15 years earlier, she still watches all of his movies. And then there's Ivins himself. Fodder for a bitter second wife's book and a boon for his much younger girlfriend's career, this author of two journals--one for posterity, the other more personal and destroyed each year--knows the allure of his public persona. It's what he cultivates when he donates to charities and signs autographs. And it's much easier on the ego to believe his own press. Sneed effectively blurs the line between fact and fiction and brings each character to life.

        COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        November 15, 2012

        Sneed's debut novel (following a short story collection, Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry), offers a glimpse beyond Hollywood's glamorous facade; fans constantly clamor for a connection with a superstar, parasitic opportunists exploit their heroes, and wealth causes issues. The Hollywood legend in this case is Renn Ivins, a handsome, highly successful movie star who has tried his best to maintain a semblance of family life. Of his two adult children, the elder is finishing medical school, while the younger struggles with the angst of having a trust fund, which robs him of the need for a meaningful career. The story is told in the voices of various players, many whose egos are fed by ever-shifting relationships and betrayals. Each one struggles to find a moral compass in a city where morality is highly relative. VERDICT Although Sneed's writing style is quite thoughtful and the backstory involving the underbelly of Hollywood is fascinating, general readers may find it difficult to feel the pain of those who struggle with too much wealth and fame.--Susanne Wells, Indianapolis P.L.

        Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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shortDescription

The people who orbit around Renn Ivins, an actor of Harrison Ford-like stature—his girlfriends, his children, his ex-wives, those on the periphery—long to experience the glow of his flame. Anna and Will are Renn's grown children, struggling to be authentic versions of themselves in a world where they are seen as less important extensions of their father. They are both drawn to and repelled by the man who overshadows every part of them.Most of us can imagine the perks of celebrity, but Little Known Facts offers a clear-eyed story of its effects—the fallout of fame and fortune on family members and others who can neither fully embrace nor ignore the superstar in their midst. With Little Known Facts, Christine Sneed emerges as one of the most insightful chroniclers of our celebrity-obsessed age, telling a story of influence and affluence, of forging identity and happiness and a moral compass; the question being, if we could have anything on earth,...

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