Nicole Flattery at Harvard Book Store
in conversation with MAGGIE DOHERTY
July 14, 2023
7:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes award-winning author NICOLE FLATTERY for a discussion of her latest novel Nothing Special. She will be joined in conversation by MAGGIE DOHERTY, author of The Equivalents: A Story of Art, Female Friendship, and Liberation in the 1960s.
Update on Event Masking Policies
Masks are not required for this event. As of June 1, 2023, masks are encouraged but not required for most Harvard Book Store events, unless otherwise specified. Please review individual listings.
About Nothing Special
New York City, 1966. Seventeen-year-old Mae lives in a rundown apartment with her alcoholic mother and her mother's sometimes-boyfriend, Mikey. She is turned off by the petty girls at her high school, and the sleazy men she typically meets. When she drops out, she is presented with a job offer that will remake her world entirely: she is hired as a typist for the artist Andy Warhol.
Warhol is composing an unconventional novel by recording the conversations and experiences of his many famous and alluring friends. Tasked with transcribing these tapes alongside several other girls, Mae quickly befriends Shelley and the two of them embark on a surreal adventure at the fringes of the countercultural movement. Going to parties together, exploring their womanhood and sexuality, this should be the most enlivening experience of Mae's life. But as she grows increasingly obsessed with the tapes and numb to her own reality, Mae must grapple with the thin line between art and voyeurism and determine how she can remain her own person as the tide of the sixties sweeps over her.
For readers of Ottessa Moshfegh and Mary Gaitskill, this blistering, mordantly funny debut novel brilliantly interrogates the nature of friendship and independence and the construction of art and identity. Nothing Special is a whip-smart coming-of-age story that brings to life the experience of young girls in this iconic and turbulent American moment.
Praise for Nothing Special
“Told with dry wit and sharp observation, Nothing Special speaks in a profound and original way to our age of vacuous consumerism, our empty quests for self-discovery, and our parasitism on celebrity and trend. Flattery ingeniously uses 1960s New York—where the high priest of pop Andy Warhol exploits and mimics for art—to draw striking parallels between artistic creation through reproduction, and the role of fantasy, envy and voyeurism in self-creation. A bold and funny coming-of-age novel about the emptiness of the cult of self, the fetishisation of fame, and the aimless drift of late-stage capitalism.” ―Imogen Crimp, author of A Very Nice Girl
“Flattery channels an unlikely muse in Mae; a young typist tasked with transcribing the lives of avant garde artists, aspiring starlets and hanger-ons in Warhol's orbit. With rich interiority, she captures the exhilarating, mundane, and often brutal wilderness of girlhood, set in one of the most mythologized cultural eras of our time. Flattery manages to lay bare our enduring parasocial fantasies and celebrity obsession, and the fraught nature of power, art, identity, sex and friendship, all with lucid prose and deadpan humor. A truly addictive read.” ―Nada Alic, author of Bad Thoughts
“Darkly funny, tender, smart as anything and riddled with the most wonderful sentences, Nothing Special is a superb debut novel from a superb writer. Nicole Flattery is in a league of her own.” ―John Patrick McHugh, author of Pure Gold
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.
While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.
Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:
- Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
- Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
- Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.
Ordering a signed book by phone:
- Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
- If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.
Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.
Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!
Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.
I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.
More questions? Give us a call!
Tote bags and pouches
in a variety of styles,
sizes, and designs, plus mugs, bookmarks, and more!
Shipping & Pickup
We ship anywhere in the U.S. and orders of $75+ ship free via media mail!Learn More »
Noteworthy Signed Books: Join the Club!
Join our Signed First Edition Club (or give a gift subscription) for a signed book of great literary merit, delivered to you monthly.Learn More »