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The Girls in the Picture

(2018)
A novel by

 
 
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and The Aviator’s Wife, a “rich exploration of two Hollywood friends who shaped the movies” (USA Today)—screenwriter Frances Marion and superstar Mary Pickford

“Full of Old Hollywood glamour and true details about the pair’s historic careers . . . a captivating ode to a legendary bond.”—Real Simple

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY REAL SIMPLE

It is 1914, and twenty-five-year-old Frances Marion has left her (second) husband and her Northern California home for the lure of Los Angeles, where she is determined to live independently as an artist. But the word on everyone’s lips these days is “flickers”—the silent moving pictures enthralling theatergoers. Turn any corner in this burgeoning town and you’ll find made-up actors running around, as a movie camera captures it all.

In this fledgling industry, Frances finds her true calling: writing stories for this wondrous new medium. She also makes the acquaintance of actress Mary Pickford, whose signature golden curls and lively spirit have earned her the title “America’s Sweetheart.” The two ambitious young women hit it off instantly, their kinship fomented by their mutual fever to create, to move audiences to a frenzy, to start a revolution.

But their ambitions are challenged by both the men around them and the limitations imposed on their gender—and their astronomical success could come at a price. As Mary, the world’s highest paid and most beloved actress, struggles to live her life under the spotlight, she also wonders if it is possible to find love, even with the dashing actor Douglas Fairbanks. Frances, too, longs to share her life with someone. As in any good Hollywood story, dramas will play out, personalities will clash, and even the deepest friendships might be shattered.

With cameos from such notables as Charlie Chaplin, Louis B. Mayer, Rudolph Valentino, and Lillian Gish, The Girls in the Picture is, at its heart, a story of friendship and forgiveness. Melanie Benjamin brilliantly captures the dawn of a glittering new era—its myths and icons, its possibilities and potential, and its seduction and heartbreak.
 
“A boffo production . . . Inspiration is a rare and unexpected gift in a book filled with the fluff of Hollywood, but Benjamin provides it with The Girls in the Picture.”—NPR

“Profoundly resonant, The Girls in the Picture is at its core, an empowering and fascinating tale of sisterhood.”—Bryce Dallas Howard

Genre: Historical

Praise for this book

"Actress Mary Pickford and screenwriter Frances Marion are Hollywood legends, and I thought I knew them well--until I read The Girls in the Picture. With riveting subtlety, Melanie Benjamin reveals the texture of their daily lives and the complexity of their decadeslong friendship. In the process, Benjamin creates an astonishing portrait of the early days of Hollywood, when innovation ruled and women wielded power alongside men. The Girls in the Picture is a fascinating, fast-paced, and ultimately heartbreaking story about two kindred spirits and their struggle for professional and personal fulfillment." - Lauren Belfer

"Melanie Benjamin has an uncanny knack for finding riveting historical characters and bringing them to life in wonderfully rendered settings. Her many fans should get ready for the pleasure of yet another of these Benjamin miracles in The Girls in the Picture, where they'll venture into early Hollywood, the magic of 'flickers, ' and women's struggles to find--and hold on to--power within that celluloid world." - Elizabeth J Church

"What a pleasure to plunge into the world of silent filmmaking and discover a pair of inventive women at the center of it, struggling not only to survive but to make art. This vibrant portrait of two Hollywood groundbreakers is rich with insights about friendship, ambition and power. . . . A fascinating read." - Nancy Horan

"Set at the dawn of Hollywood, The Girls in the Picture explores the friendship between renowned starlet Mary Pickford and screenwriter Frances Marion. With the artistry for which she has become renowned, Melanie Benjamin has simultaneously created an insightful tale of the relationship between writer and muse and a breathtaking view into Hollywood's most glittering era." - Pam Jenoff

"Melanie Benjamin, known for her living, breathing portraits of famous figures, takes on the Golden Age of Hollywood, and the friendship between icons Mary Pickford and screenwriter Frances Marion. As riveting as the latest blockbuster, this is a star-studded story of female friendships, creative sparks about to ignite, and the power of women. Dazzling." - Caroline Leavitt

"Melanie Benjamin's The Girls in the Picture is a scintillating journey back in time to the gritty and glamorous days of old Hollywood. With elegant prose and delicious historical detail, Benjamin delivers a timely tale of female friendship--and the powerful duo who dared to dream beyond the narrow roles into which they'd been cast." - Allison Pataki

"Thrilling, bold, and incandescent, this is a deeply moving work of historical fiction about two unforgettable women whose creative partnership shaped the evolution of early American film. Melanie Benjamin is a transcendent storyteller, and with The Girls in the Picture, she has created a spellbinding novel of female power and ambition, heartbreak and desire." - Dawn Tripp


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Used availability for Melanie Benjamin's The Girls in the Picture

Hardback Editions

March 2018 : USA Library Binding
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Title: The Girls in the Picture
Author(s): Melanie Benjamin
ISBN: 1-68324-701-9 / 978-1-68324-701-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Center Point Pub
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


January 2018 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Girls in the Picture: A Novel
Author(s): Melanie Benjamin
ISBN: 1-101-88680-3 / 978-1-101-88680-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

January 2019 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Girls in the Picture: A Novel
Author(s): Melanie Benjamin
ISBN: 1-101-88682-X / 978-1-101-88682-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bantam
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


January 2018 : USA Paperback
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Title: Girls in the Picture
Author(s): Melanie Benjamin
ISBN: 1-5247-9694-8 / 978-1-5247-9694-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Rh USA/Bantam Dell
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

January 2018 : USA Audio CD
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Title: The Girls in the Picture: A Novel
Author(s): Melanie Benjamin
ISBN: 0-451-48465-7 / 978-0-451-48465-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


January 2018 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Girls in the Picture: A Novel
Author(s): Melanie Benjamin
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon   


January 2018 : Australia Audio edition
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Title: The Girls in the Picture: A Novel
Author(s): Melanie Benjamin
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon AU   


January 2018 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: The Girls in the Picture: A Novel
Author(s): Melanie Benjamin
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


January 2018 : UK Audio edition
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Title: The Girls in the Picture: A Novel
Author(s): Melanie Benjamin
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

January 2018 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Girls in the Picture: A Novel
Author(s): Melanie Benjamin
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU