ContemporaryA Very Nice Girl by Imogen Crimp

A Very Nice Girl by Imogen Crimp


When I tell you that this book accompanied me everywhere I mean I don’t think I physically put it down from start to finish regardless of my daily responsibilities.

Out now, this is the London love child of Sally Rooney and Raven Leilani of Luster fame, a Gen Z sex & the city with a sprinkling of philosophy and buckets of satire heaped on the side. The narrative revolves around Anna, a young, naive, struggling opera singer who is in a complicated relationship with Max, an older man who is a rather inscrutable, detached character compared to our liberal artist. We are in Anna’s mind as we watch her begin to unravel whilst their connection becomes more intense, though very much on his terms. 

The debut author cleverly uses the stereotypical, historically misogynist tropes of women in art and music, juxtaposed with Anna and her bevvy of (at times laugh out loud on the train so everyone stares at you) friends and acquaintances. The roles Anna plays – Musetta, Zerlina, Rusalka and Manon – are templates for her experiences of passion and power. I devoured the passages about her getting into the headspace to portray these complex women. 

Crimp clearly knows the frenetic world of directors, divas and benefactors intimately as this felt hugely realistic. There were moments of lyrical prose, poetic and beautiful, sentences with such insight and hilarious observation that so many will recognise, those quiet moments of banality we all experience presented on the page. The author is unafraid to call out examples of cognitive dissonance, the hypocrisy of the “bourgeois elite” extolling the virtues of dismantling capitalist social structures from the safety of the house purchased for them.

Exploring privilege, power dynamics, sexual & financial inequality, the crushing pressure in the arts, anxiety, dysfunctional childhoods and feminism, people seem to either fiercely love this or just not get it. We get sent a lot of books. A lot. This one stood out for me. I want to re read this immediately ~ C

Ad:PR ~ Thank you @bloomsburypublishing for the advance proof

Order your copy here.

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