On the surface of things Nadia Orsini’s life appears comfortable and unremarkable – Ivy League educated, happily married to a doctor, a mother of three, and a moderately successful photographer. But not all is as it seems. Nadia has been telling lies. Nobody, not even her family, knows about her past, her dark dealings with a U.S. senator, or the scandal she was caught up in surrounding his young son. Then, Nadia receives a disturbing package in the mail and her mask threatens to disintegrate, exposing a horrifying secret. She realizes someone is spying on her, has broken in to her studio and rummaged through her hidden safe. If she can’t stop them, she will lose her husband, family, suburban home – and the precarious hold on her own singular identity.
Meanwhile, from a prison cell in the mountains, a convicted felon named Christopher Benedict is hatching a plot. The leader of a shadowy group of Aktionists, he writes daily to a woman known only as “Jenny X.”
Lisa Dierbeck’s startling first novel, One Pill Makes You Smaller, gave an unflinching, raw account of a relationship between a charismatic adult man and an underage girl. Set in the gritty art world of the 70s, its surprising humor, honesty and eroticism drew acclaim from numerous publications, including The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, O (the Oprah magazine), Publisher’s Weekly and The New York Times Book Review, which named it a Notable Book of 2003.
“Baader Meinhof meets Marvel comics.” —Pagan Kennedy, author of The First Man-Made Man.
“Some books have a black heart. This one has a black-light heart: Lisa Dierbeck’s gripping novel about a love triangle between a Senator’s son-turned-artist-turned-convict, a straitlaced oncologist, and the woman who they both love glows with vibrant strangeness.” —Ben Greenman, author of What He’s Poised To Do.
“Gripping.” —O, the Oprah Magazine
“Fast-paced, psychologically taut … beguiling … sly and sharp.” —New York Observer
“A tale of secrets and lies unraveled … a page turner with lots of sharp cultural observations.” —Newsday
“Dierbeck … has created one of the most recognizable and fully realized characters we’ve seen in ages.” —Time Out Chicago
“Cause for alarm.” —Vanity Fair
MobyLives, April 4th 2011
Thirteen, March 31st 2011
Lit Fest Magazine, March 7th 2011
Elevate Difference, February 27th 2011
Friday Reads, February 18th 2011
Lit Fest Magazine, February 2011
The Believer, February 2011
O, the Oprah Magazine, February 2011
O, the Oprah Magazine, January 24th 2011
The Nervous Breakdown, January 1st 2011
TimeOut Chicago, December 30th 2010
The Nervous Breakdown, December 24th 2010
The Salt Lake Tribune, December 23rd 2010
Open Letters, December 7th 2010
Happy Endings, December 7th 2010
The Boston Phoenix, December 7th 2010
The New York Observer, November 22nd 2010
Lisa Dierbeck is the author of the critically acclaimed debut novel One Pill Makes You Smaller, a New York Times Notable Book. A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, she has contributed to publications including The Boston Globe, Glamour, The New York Observer, The New York Times Book Review, People, O, and Time Out New York. Her fiction has appeared in The Baffler, Black Book, Cimarron Review and New Letters, among others, and in such anthologies as O’s Guide to Life: The Best of O, and Heavy Rotation: 20 Writers on the Albums that Changed Their Lives.