In an engrossing novel that subverts all preconceptions of feminism, ambition and success, Jen Silverman (The Island Dwellers) masterfully steers a flawed narrator to a revelatory conclusion--one that, miraculously, never bends to tropes.
In We Play Ourselves, Cass is the Next Big Thing in the theater world, a young queer playwright on the cusp of enormous success. After winning the prestigious--and well-paying--Lansing Award, all she needs is a good review in the New York Times for her absurdist feminist play to soar. But putting together an Off-Broadway show proves more spellbinding than she'd anticipated, and she falls in love with not only her co-creator but also with the glimmer of power her career has finally unearthed. When the Times review comes out and it's blistering, Cass finds herself embroiled in a bitter and humiliating scandal, and she runs away to Los Angeles to hide out till things cool off. Instead, she meets filmmaker Caroline, whose upcoming quasi-documentary on a female fight club might just be Cass's ticket back into the spotlight. But as Cass gets to know the girls at the heart of the film, she starts to understand the cost of success--and the strength of starting over. When one of the girls disappears, she can no longer ignore her moral obligation to the truth.
We Play Ourselves ends with a tremendous redemption scene, one so bizarre and brilliant it will leave readers puzzling over it for weeks. This is a funny, heart-warming, yet deeply unexpected story that deserves attention. --Lauren Puckett, freelance writer