Paint It Black

A Novel
By Janet Fitch (Trade Paperback, 2007)
"A dark, crooked beauty that fulfills all the promise of White Oleander and confirms that Janet Fitch is an artist of the very highest order."--Los Angeles Times Book Review

Josie Tyrell, art model, runaway, and denizen of LA's rock scene finds a chance at real love with Michael Faraday, a Harvard dropout and son of a renowned pianist. But when she receives a call from the coroner, asking her to identify her lover's body, her bright dreams all turn to black.

As Josie struggles to understand Michael's death and to hold onto the world they shared, she is both attracted to and repelled by his pianist mother, Meredith, who blames Josie for her son's torment. Soon the two women are drawn into a twisted relationship that reflects equal parts distrust and blind need.

With the luxurious prose and fever pitch intensity that are her hallmarks, Janet Fitch weaves a spellbinding tale of love, betrayal, and the possibility of transcendence.


"Lushly written, dramatically plotted. . . Fitch's Los Angeles is so real it breathes." -Atlantic Monthly


"There is nothing less than a stellar sentence in this novel. Fitch's emotional honesty recalls the work of Joyce Carol Oates, her strychnine sentences the prose of Paula Fox." -Cleveland Plain Dealer

"A page-turning psychodrama. . . . Fitch's prose penetrates the inner lives of [her characters] with immediacy and bite." -Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Fitch wonderfully captures the abrasive appeal of punk music, the bohemian, sometimes squalid lifestyle, the performers, the drugs, the alienation. This is crackling fresh stuff you don't read every day." -USA Today

"In dysfunctional family narratives, Fitch is to fiction what Eugene O'Neill is to drama." -Chicago Sun-Times

"Riveting. . . . An uncommonly accomplished page-turner." -Elle

"A dark, crooked beauty that fulfills all the promise of White Oleander and confirms that Janet Fitch is an artist of the very highest order."--Los Angeles Times Book Review

Josie Tyrell, art model, runaway, and denizen of LA's rock scene finds a chance at real love with Michael Faraday, a Harvard dropout and son of a renowned pianist. But when she receives a call from the coroner, asking her to identify her lover's body, her bright dreams all turn to black.

As Josie struggles to understand Michael's death and to hold onto the world they shared, she is both attracted to and repelled by his pianist mother, Meredith, who blames Josie for her son's torment. Soon the two women are drawn into a twisted relationship that reflects equal parts distrust and blind need.

With the luxurious prose and fever pitch intensity that are her hallmarks, Janet Fitch weaves a spellbinding tale of love, betrayal, and the possibility of transcendence.


"Lushly written, dramatically plotted. . . Fitch's Los Angeles is so real it breathes." -Atlantic Monthly


"There is nothing less than a stellar sentence in this novel. Fitch's emotional honesty recalls the work of Joyce Carol Oates, her strychnine sentences the prose of Paula Fox." -Cleveland Plain Dealer

"A page-turning psychodrama. . . . Fitch's prose penetrates the inner lives of [her characters] with immediacy and bite." -Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Fitch wonderfully captures the abrasive appeal of punk music, the bohemian, sometimes squalid lifestyle, the performers, the drugs, the alienation. This is crackling fresh stuff you don't read every day." -USA Today

"In dysfunctional family narratives, Fitch is to fiction what Eugene O'Neill is to drama." -Chicago Sun-Times

"Riveting. . . . An uncommonly accomplished page-turner." -Elle

Janet Fitch's first novel, White Oleander, a #1 bestseller and Oprah's Book Club selection, has been translated into 24 languages and was made into a feature film. A native of Los Angeles, Fitch currently teaches fiction writing in the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California.
  • "Another knockout. . . . PAINT IT BLACK is a mesmerizing novel." (Rocky Mountain News).

  • "You can't help but like Josie and hope for the best. As she did with White Oleander, Fitch has given us a courageous and interesting young woman who handles the bad cards she has been dealt with grace and resolve. No one, not even Cinderella, knows better than Josie Tyrell that life isn't fair--and no one, despite some very long odds, seems more likely to transcend the role of victim and succeed with or without her fairy-tale prince." (Washington Post).

  • "Fitch has a gift for lush prose and rich, evocative descriptions, particularly of Los Angeles. . . . . In PAINT IT BLACK, Janet Fitch has created a dark, crooked beauty that fulfills all the promise of White Oleander and confirms that she too is an artist of the very highest order." (Los Angeles Times Book Review).

  • "Fitch wonderfully captures the abrasive appeal of punk music, the bohemian, sometimes squalid lifestyle, the performers, the drugs, the alienation. This is crackling fresh stuff you don't read every day." (USA Today).

  • "Fitch is a superb stylist, and her atmospherics are terrific. Like Joan Didion and countless creators of noir fiction, she ably captures that smog-infested, decadent version of L.A." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

  • (Publishers Weekly).

  • (Library Journal).

Product Details

Paint It Black
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Price: $13.99 US/$16.25 CAN
  • Pages: 448
  • Physical Dimensions: 5-1/2" x 8-1/4"
  • Audio Run Time: 0
  • ISBN-13: 9780316067140
  • On Sale Date: 10/03/2007
Paint It Black

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Paint It Black