This stuff about Marisha Pessl seems to be everywhere I look today.
It's bizarre. All the discussion about whether she got a book deal because she's attractive is totally irrelevant.
Not because her book is allegedly really good (it's getting great reviews... I'll eventually read it) but because she's, uh...well... not actually... attractive.
Her infamous author photo is.
But I saw the real Marisha Pessl--like, the human being, not a B&W, airbrushed, made-up picture--read this spring along with Karen Russell and Robin Hazelwood. And she looked much more like this, except not smiling. Not ugly or anything, just nondescript.
Seriously, this minor controversy-about-the-controversy about her looks is totally surreal.
Good marketing ploy. Release a model-quality author photo so people start talking, then once you've got their attention, put out a book that's actually (allegedly) good.
I want a six-figure book deal. Then I'll look like Johnny Depp in my author photo. When an honest picture would be more like a cross between John Turturro and mid-binge Robert Downey Jr.
Actually I once tried one of those sites that tells you what celebrity/historical figure you resemble if you upload a photo of yourself. The results? Alec Guinness and Ted Bundy. Neither of whom I remotely resemble--but as a college freshman I did once make a puppet film about Ted Bundy.