After reading Noley Reid’s novel “Pretend We are Lovely,” Ferris assistant professor Deirdre Fagan invited Reid to speak at Ferris’ Literature in Person event.
“I read it last summer and was blown away by its aching beauty. I couldn’t put the book down—the writing was so breathtakingly powerful,” Fagan said. “It was shortly after reading ‘Pretend We are Lovely’ that I invited Reid to come to Ferris.”
“Pretend We are Lovely” is a novel about two sisters, an estranged father, a mother and a deceased brother. The story not only dives into the mysterious death of their sibling but with two girls entering middle school, they must also find their way while battling what seems to be the start of eating disorders.
“The daily necessities of life are often the things we struggle with the most when faced with trauma or stress, as I know our students can attest. Reid taps into the central connection we all have to food and develops it in unexpected and varied ways throughout the novel,” Fagan said.
Hoping the book will touch the hearts of those who’ve dealt with dieting or sizeism, Reid connects with them through her own experience in that field.
“I’d spent two years aggressively restricting calories and over-exercising in order to lose 181 pounds. It was never enough, though. What I thought would finally bring me love was never good enough, and what if it had anyway? At some point, I spun out of control,” Reid said.
A book created with the intention of becoming a moving story became a novel that gives insight into what many people have struggled with their whole lives: what thin is the right amount of thin?
“Reid is a brilliant and sensitive writer whose work students would greatly benefit from reading and hearing,” Fagan said.
Sponsored by The Department of Languages and Literature, Author Noley Reid: a Literature in Person event will happen Monday, Feb. 5, from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Fine Art Gallery, UCB 205. The book will be available to buy at the Ferris Bookstore and a signing will be held afterwards.
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