Brittany Newell / Oola

Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 7:30pm

Booksmith is thrilled to host our own Brittany Newell for the launch of her spectacular debut novel, Oola. Please join us!


The first thing Leif notices about Oola is the sharp curve of her delicate shoulders, tensed as if for flight. Even from that first encounter at a party in a flat outside of London, there’s something electric about the way Oola, a music school dropout, connects with the cossetted, listless narrator we find in twenty-five-year-old Leif. Infatuated, the two hit the road across Europe, housesitting for Leif’s parents’ wealthy friends, and finally settling for the summer in Big Sur.


Leif makes Oola his subject: he will attempt an infinitesimal cartography of her every thought and gesture, her every dimple, every snag, every swell of memory and hollow. And yet in this atmosphere of stifling and paranoid isolation, the world around Leif and Oola begins to warp—the tap water turns salty, plants die, and Oola falls dangerously ill. Finally, it becomes clear that the currents surging just below the surface of Leif’s story are infinitely stranger than they first appear.


Oola is a mind-bendingly original novel about the way that—particularly in the changeable, unsteady just-post-college years—sex, privilege, desire, and creativity can bend, blur, and break. In a novel that reads like the wicked love child of American Psycho and Lolita, Brittany Newell bursts into the literary world with a narrative as twisted and fresh as it is addicting.



"Newell nails the lure, intoxication, and fallout of obsessive love (and its subsequent madness) that somehow seems a mandatory requirement of growing up." -- Elle


"Electrifying" -- Harper's Bazaar, "14 New Books You Need to Read in April"

"[Oola] takes a major twist, from love story to something decidedly more interesting and experimental." -- Refinery29, "The Best Reads of April Are Right Here"


Brittany Newell, who often writes and performs under the nom de plume Ratty St. John, will graduate from Stanford in 2017. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and is the winner of the Norman Mailer Award for Fiction. Oola is her first book.




RSVP appreciated but not requiredIf you cannot attend the event, but would like to request a signed copy of Oola, please order below and put your request in the comments field. 

Oola Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250114143
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Holt McDougal - April 25th, 2017