Miss Aluminum (pb)
A revealing and refreshing memoir of Hollywood in the 1970s
In 1963 after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Susanna Moore leaves her home in Hawai'i with no money, no belongings, and no prospects to live with her Irish grandmother in Philadelphia. She soon receives four trunks of expensive clothes from a concerned family friend, allowing her to assume the first of many disguises she will need to find her sometimes perilous, always valorous way. Her journey takes her from New York to Los Angeles where she becomes a model and meets Joan Didion and Audrey Hepburn. She works as a script reader for Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson, and is given a screen test by Mike Nichols. But beneath Miss Aluminum's glittering fairytale surface lies the story of a girl's insatiable hunger to learn and her anguished determination to understand the circumstances of her mother's death. Moore gives us a sardonic, often humorous portrait of Hollywood in the seventies, and of a young woman's hard-won arrival at self-hood.
**Buddy's staff pick**
Susanna Moore’s Miss Aluminum is a gripping memoir that proves the cliché that life can be stranger than fiction. Growing up in Hawai‘i with significant childhood trauma and graduating from Punahou in 1964, she left on a journey of life with extreme emotional and physical highs and lows. Her meetings of the rich and famous (in New York, Philadelphia and Hollywood) are presented in a harsh reality that made this reader think, “Be careful what you wish for,” or perhaps in Ms. Moore’s case, be careful who you meet and who you trust. Kudos for her having the courage to write such a personally revealing story. —Buddy Bess, founding owner and publisher of Bess Press