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Publisher's Summary

A stylish and suspenseful historical thriller following an up-and-coming journalist who stumbles onto a web of secrets, deceptions, and mysteries at a popular new literary magazine—inspired by the true story of CIA intervention in Cold War American arts and letters.

New York City, 1953: Louise Leithauser's star is on the rise. She's filed some of the best pieces at her boyfriend Joe's brand-new literary magazine, Downtown (albeit under a male pseudonym), her relationship still makes her weak at the knees, and the science-fiction romance she's writing on the side, "The Lunar Housewife," is going swimmingly. But when she overhears Joe and his business partner fighting about listening devices and death threats, Louise can't help but investigate, and she quickly finds herself wading into dangerous waters.

As Louise pieces together rumors, hunches, and clues, the picture begins to come together—Downtown's strings are being pulled by someone powerful, and that someone doesn't want artists or writers criticizing Uncle Sam. Meanwhile, opportunities are falling in Louise's lap that she'd have to be crazy to refuse, including an interview with America's most famous living author, Ernest Hemingway. Can Louise stand by and let doors keep opening for her, while the establishment sells out and censors her fellow writers? As her suspicions and paranoia mount, Louise's own novel "The Lunar Housewife" changes shape, colored by her newfound knowledge. And when Louise is forced to consider her future sooner than she planned, she needs to decide whether she can trust Joe for the rest of her life. 

Peppered with cameos from real-life luminaries such as Truman Capote and James Baldwin, and full of period detail and nail-biting tension, Caroline Woods channels 1950s New York glamour as Louise's investigation brings her face to face with shocking secrets, brutal sexism, and life or death consequences. Deeply researched and propulsive, The Lunar Housewife is a historical thriller rich with meaning for modern listeners.

©2022 Caroline Woods (P)2022 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"The Lunar Housewife is written with tremendous skill and an ingenious form. Caroline Woods is an imaginative artist, who has combined historical fiction with science fiction to produce such an engaging novel, but ultimately this is serious fiction that resonates with a keen intelligence." (Ha Jin, National Book Award and PEN/Faulkner award-winning author of Waiting)

"The Lunar Housewife is wonderfully entertaining and slyly subversive. Scrappy, self-made Louise struggles to make a name for herself as a magazine writer in '50s-era New York, but slowly comes to realize that CIA censorship hovers over every byline. Funneling her frustration with propagandist expectations and constricting women's roles into a secret novel, Louise struggles to reconcile her old dreams with her new world, where voices like hers are muzzled if they don't fit the perfect American dream. Caroline Woods pens a story that will linger in the memory!" (Kate Quinn, New York Times best-selling author of The Alice Network)

"The Lunar Housewife is a wild, rollicking ride that shows us the 1950s were anything but simpler times, particularly for budding journalist Louise Leithauser. Woods deftly rockets the reader through the Cold War, spy networks, living on the moon, and even into the life of Ernest Hemingway. Louise is the perfect feminist heroine, punching through the lies and misogyny to find her own truth in the world. Truly the most fun I've had reading a book in a long time." (Crystal King, author of Feast of Sorrow and The Chef's Secret)

What listeners say about The Lunar Housewife

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Rambling nonsense

This book is not great literature. Hopefully it will be printed in Russian so it can be enjoyed by Russian women who like romance novels.

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Fun listen for a fan of historical fiction

This book wasn't life changing, but it was a fun listen. It's historical fiction about a time in American history when options for women were limited and freedom of expression was challenged (wait... maybe it's not too historical...). The narration performances were great for Louise and Katherine, but just ok for the other characters, especially the male voices. One side note - I've never been a big fan of Hemingway but like him more after his portrayal in this book!