Nicole Flattery Selects Five Books The Influenced Nothing Special

By Bloomsbury

Nicole Flattery Selects Five Books The Influenced Nothing Special

By Bloomsbury

This list is several of the books that inspired me, both directly and indirectly, when I wrote my novel set in Andy Warhol’s Factory, Nothing Special. Some are obvious, and others are less so, but they’ve all earned their place for different reasons. 

Nothing Special

Nicole Flattery

£16.99 £16.14

a: A Novel

Andy Warhol

£12.99 £12.34

Imagine I left this out? A brilliant book full of the stuff of life – friendship, sex, parties. It all comes together, it all falls apart. One of my main complaints about my life is that I don’t get to hang out with friends enough. I don’t get to waste enough time. When did we stop doing nothing? Try not to think about how difficult a, A Novel is to read (the writer Lynne Tillman compared it to an opera) but just dip in and out. It’s like visiting your wildest, funniest, most outrageous friends.

Edie: American Girl

George Plimpton and Jean Stein

£12.99 £12.34

An oral biography of Warhol’s probably most memorable and stylish superstar. Forget the travesty of the Sienna Miller biopic – read this instead. Full of competing histories and unforgettable anecdotes, Edie comes alive again. You’re rooting for her - of course you are - even though you already know how it ends. Her whole life, as one contributor puts it, was a media event.

After Claude

Iris Owen

£16.99 £16.14

I’m really surprised more people haven’t read this book. It was first published by Iris Owens in 1973. It’s against earnestness, self-seriousness: all that good stuff. Harriet enrages everyone, is highly manipulative, cruel, selfish, ridiculous: I love her beyond measure.

The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination

Sarah Schulman


One of the best books I’ve ever read about New York, the way it was then and the way it is now. A memoir about the AIDS crisis that is both harrowing and inspiring. As rents continue to rise everywhere, and city living becomes basically impossible for everyone but the super-rich, this book deserves to be read and reread.


Kevin Barry

£9.99 £9.49

Whenever I felt nervous about what I was doing in Nothing Special – an Irish person telling an American story – I thought about Barry’s imagining of John Lennon. This novel won prizes and praise everywhere when it was published in 2016, and deserved them all. It contains the truest sentence I’ve ever read, and one that inspired my own novel: ‘You never get past what happens to you when you’re 17.’

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