A MODEL SUMMER by Paulina Porizkova
Publisher Hyperion, April 2007
An incisive, beautifully-written first novel by a former supermodel
exploring the glamorous, gritty, and sometimes ghastly world she inhabited
Only a handful of women in the world have experienced what Paulina Porizkova
has—being whisked away to model in Paris while still a teenager, reaching
the pinnacle of the profession before her schoolmates had even graduated—and
fewer still have the insight to capture it on paper.
In her first novel, Paulina tells the story of Jirina (pronounced
Yee-r-shi-nah). A tall, scrawny fifteen-year-old girl from Sweden, she’s
much more accustomed to taunts and disdain than admiration and affection,
whether from her classmates or her own family.
That all changes when her only friend, Hatty, asks to practice her makeup
and photography skills on Jirina. Almost before she knows it Jirina is on a
plane to Paris, where she will spend the summer in a milieu entirely alien
to her. Living at the home of her modeling agency’s owner and constantly
being subjected to blunt physical assessments, catty and often cruel fellow
models, and womanizing photographers—and, miraculously enough, sometimes
feeling truly beautiful—Jirina embarks on a journey beyond her wildest
imaginings. Between photo shoots in Italy and Morocco, parties with models
and musicians, Jirina manages to make a few friends, fall in love, and,
eventually, feel the very adult pain of betrayal and heartbreak.
Told with the grace, simplicity, and accuracy that can only come from
real-life experience, A MODEL SUMMER is both the debut of a notably talented
novelist and an unusually well informed look behind the scenes at a world
many people fantasize about, but few really know.
Paulina Porizkova is a former political refugee, an accidental model, and
an occasional actress. Also the author of a children’s book, The Adventures
of Ralphie the Roach, she is married to the musician Ric Ocasek, with whom
she has two sons. They live in New York City.
“In A MODEL SUMMER, readers will find a vivid, no-holds-barred look at
the price of beauty—a deceptively simple story of a girl who finds herself
left alone to navigate fashion’s fast lane. Who knew Paulina was not only
beautiful but a terrific writer to boot.”
-- Cassandra King, author of Queen of Broken Hearts and The
Same Sweet Girls
“This story of a young model, equal parts child-like goodness and amorality,
is a stunning debut novel that bravely offers no easy answers.”
-- Lisa Tucker, author of The Song Reader and Once Upon a