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Veronica by Mary Gaitskill
The narrator in Veronica is an ex-fashion model named Alison remembering her friend, Veronica, who had died of AIDS. Alison tells of her days as a model, where personalities are shallow and people are used, until she fled to New York in the 1980s after an unhappy end to an affair with a married fashion agent. There she met Veronica, an older, overweight, abrasive, and independent woman who was almost the exact opposite of Alison, and the two became fast friends. As Alison struggles with hepatitis-induced fever, she remembers her mostly unhappy life with the exception of the years she had with Veronica and the effect she had on her life. Mary Gaitskill's novel has received mostly positive reviews (and a National Book Award nomination) with the Seattle Times saying, "Never before in fiction has a model been this knowing, this feeling or this poetic. Yet every sentence rings true. Gaitskill is talented enough to make you believe that the memoir of a fallen model can be as soulful as it is sordid."
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