Summary from Goodreads:
Part memoir and part joyful romp through the fields of imagination, the story behind a beloved pseudonymous Twitter account reveals how a writer deep in grief rebuilt a life worth living.
Becoming Duchess Goldblatt is two stories: that of the reclusive real-life writer who created a fictional character out of loneliness and thin air, and that of the magical Duchess Goldblatt herself, a bright light in the darkness of social media. Fans around the world are drawn to Her Grace’s voice, her wit, her life-affirming love for all humanity, and the fun and friendship of the community that’s sprung up around her.
@DuchessGoldblat (81 year-old literary icon, author of An Axe to Grind) brought people together in her name: in bookstores, museums, concerts, and coffee shops, and along the way, brought real friends home—foremost among them, Lyle Lovett.
“The only way to be reliably sure that the hero gets the girl at the end of the story is to be both the hero and the girl yourself.” — Duchess Goldblatt
How to describe Duchess Goldblatt? You either know who/what she is because you’re a Twitter follower or you don’t.
So, if you need an introduction, Duchess Goldblatt is a semi-fictional character, a social media profile created by an anonymous woman that appears to be an elderly woman, represented by a 17th century portrait, who dispenses sage, silly, and lovely bon mots and advice on Twitter.
Becoming Duchess Goldblatt, by Duchess’s still-anonymous creator, details how Duchess came to be, at a time when her creator was spiraling after a number of personal crises: the breakup of her marriage, shared custody of her only child, the loss of a job. She also details the death of her father during her college years, her fraught relationship with her mother, and her only sibling’s self-destructive mental illness. If family troubles like these are triggering for you, there are a couple chapters you might need to skip through; CW also for talk of suicide.
But in between the creator’s memoir, we get the memoir of Duchess Goldblatt, the matriarch of Crooked Path, as she grew in Twitter visibility and gained ever more famous followers (Lyle Lovett has become a friend to both Duchess and her creator). Her creator has maintained her anonymity – with few exceptions – and, you know what? It doesn’t really matter if we know everything about Duchess’s creator or not. We don’t need to know who thought up Secular Pie Thursday on Thanksgiving, as a way to stave off loneliness, only that Secular Pie Thursday exists as a bright spot on a holiday that might be rough for some people. I think that’s the greatest gift of Duchess’s creation – that even in her creator’s darkest moment, she found a way to give light to others and bring light into herself.
Long live Duchess Goldblatt.
Becoming Duchess Goldblatt is available today!
Dear FTC: I read a digital galley of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss.