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Black Tie International - Recommended Reading
Based Upon Availability

Based Upon Availability

Author Alix Strauss has always had a love affair with hotels.
"I long to know what happens behind closed doors and I love the anonymity hotels offer,” says Strauss. “I’m intrigued by the idea that you can retreat from real life and be anyone from anywhere, that once you're gone, the rooms are stripped down and wiped clean, all traces of you erased as if you'd never been there.”
It’s this sense of anonymity and privacy that draws the 8 seemingly ordinary women in Strauss’s new novel BASED UPON AVAILABILITY (Harper Paperback; June 2010) towards famed Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan. Each one is lovely, strong, and driven, and when pushed to the edge, must fight for life as she struggles to become the woman she wants to be. The thread that ties these women together is Morgan, a manager at the swanky hotel, who finds that the privacy alone might not offer the escape she once thought it did. Ultimately, the hotel weaves the lives of these 8 women together, its sanctuary offering solace to some and despair to others.

Meet Trish, a gallery owner obsessing over her best friend’s wedding and dramatic weight loss; Robin, worn down by a lifetime of abuse by her older sister and forced to take revenge; Anne, a lonely, single woman suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder; Louise, a drug-addicted rock star sent to dry out by her equally famous publicist; Franny, a Southerner turned wannabe Manhattanite, envious of her neighbors’ lives; Sheila, a single teacher driven to punish her boyfriend when he informs her that he’s returning to his wife; and Ellen, a married woman desperate to have children.

An utterly original read, touching on themes of family, sex, power, love, and death, Strauss asks and answers the age old question, “What happens behind closed doors?” BASED UPON AVAILABILITY also examines the walls we put up as we attempt intimacy, while inspecting the ruins once they’re knocked down.
“This sharp and brilliant novel shows that truth cannot be seen from the outside. You’ll absorb every anecdote’s last detail as real human connection resurfaces and these women take steps to become the people they’ve always dreamed they’d be.”
—Elle magazine

“…These New York stories, utterly wrenching with pessimistic undercurrents, will remind some readers of Parker—as in Dorothy, not Sarah Jessica.”
—Kirkus Reviews

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