The voice of disgraced love guru Brooks Nixon seems to haunt Hope Townsend, showing up at inopportune moments to deliver unwelcome commentary on her hapless romances.
Brooks―who once doled out cliched dating advice to millions―fell out of favor with his fanbase when a life-altering experience shifted his counsel to a free-wheeling, anti-monogamy platform. The about-face earned him the moniker “Narcissus Nixon” and made him slightly less annoying to Hope, a goth music devotee who prefers animals over people. Hope’s dueling traits of misanthropy and compassion often hinder her progress in jobs as well as relationships. Little by little, she finds herself more influenced by the new Nixon than she’d care to admit. To shake off his hold on her thoughts and come to terms with her own destiny, she must uncover the truth behind Nixon’s transformation and draw the line between his recommendations and her authentic desires
NARCISSUS NOBODY is a brilliant—often humorous—story of a woman who is driven to embody the free-wheeling independence of her feminist heroes, in the face of the more straight-laced suburban women in her community. Author Gina Yates is the youngest daughter of the late celebrated author Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road), and with this novel, she makes her mark as a writer of sparkling originality.
NARCISSUS NOBODY: A Novel, by Gina Yates; Trade Paper Original; 288 pages;
ISBN: 978-1-953103-00-0; $16; April 13, 2021
Preorder NARCISSUS NOBODY now!
An Excerpt from Narcissus Nobody
San Lazaro, California had an impressive ratio of health food stores to people. Hope’s favorite place to buy groceries was a cute little mom-and-pop operation called Fern & Feather: not as cheap as the various co-ops scattered around town but a lot less cult-like and pretentious. She could find just about everything she needed there, so she rarely had to set foot in a price-gouging corporate chain like Full Circle Foods (which Nathan liked to call “Empty Wallet Foods”) or Health Max (“Credit Card Max”).
But procuring necessities isn’t always the primary objective of grocery shopping. There are times when the urge to blow seven dollars on a three-ounce artichoke salad from the deli comes on like sudden gravity. And this was one of those times. She dug out the biggest backpack she owned while formulating the indulgent self-soothing list in her mind; a two-liter box of mango coconut water, some high concentrated rose oil, a colorful box of exotic tea, a CD with a name like “Totally Stress Free” or “Zen Focus.”
She chose Health Max instead of Full Circle Foods, mainly because the Birch Avenue bus happened to come by first. At the double automatic door, a blast of cleansed air welcomed her in like an old friend. Come in my child, it said. Listen to my coffeehouse jazz and sample my zucchini and hummus sticks.
From Narcissus Nobody: A Novel by Gina Yates
About the Author
Gina Yates is the author of several unpublished novels and short stories. After immigrating to Canada on a student visa in the 1990s, she honed her craft through an unconventional path of world travel and entrepreneurship. She is the youngest daughter of the late celebrated author Richard Yates. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where in addition to writing she is the sole proprietor of an eclectic vintage clothing store.