Trendy But Casual

Penguin New Zealand, 2007

Jane Shore has problems. Her life is falling apart: she’s about to be evicted from her apartment; her career as a PR maven is stalling; and her attempt to impress a potential future boyfriend fails because she doesn’t even know the difference between flora and fauna.

After Jane disgraces herself at the record launch for hip-hop pretender RapStallion, she faces her worst fears: moving to Brooklyn, and losing her main account, To Do magazine, to her pixie-sized nemesis, Lee Munroe. And before she can ride off into the sunset on a pink-maned horse, Jane must face a series of ordeals, from a philosophy-themed bridal shower to a reality-stars-of-yesteryear party to a one-off performance of the hip-hopera Mary Rappins in Central Park …

Set in New York City, Trendy But Casual is a comedy of manners, a satire about the obsession with celebrity, and an important warning to young people everywhere about the dangers of getting naked in Williamsburg.

UPDATE: Follow the new adventures of Jane Shore at her blog, Everybody Needs Two or Three Friends.


‘Paula Morris abandons her former territory – incisive, complex portraits of New Zealanders at home and abroad – to deliver a breezy “comedy of bad manners” … Morris vividly evokes the ur-city in all its hectic glory … [and] captures the vanity of turn of the century Manhattan in a blizzard of knowing cultural references.’

The Listener

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