Fake Like Me // June 18, 2019

Glittering with wit and mystery, FAKE LIKE ME is more than an immensely readable portrait of an artist — it shatters expectations with pointed satire and structural daring.

A young painter tracks the mysterious life and death of her role model in this haunting work of literary suspense.

“Part thriller, part performance art and wholly revolutionary, FAKE LIKE ME confronts American art culture with female bravado.” — BookPage

Winner of Baltimore Magazine's 2019 Best Book of Baltimore
A Cosmopolitan June 2019 Must-Have
A Fortune Summer 2019 Travel Pick
A HelloGiggles Best Book of June 2019
A Refinery29 Best Book of June 2019
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of Summer 2019
A CrimeReads Best Crime Books of the Year (So Far)
A Toronto Star Hot Summer Thriller Pick


Publishers Weekly [starred review]
A haunting, dizzying meditation on identity and the blurred lines between life and art.
Kirkus [starred review]
Glitteringly compelling
A must for those with an artistic bent, a sheer reading pleasure for all.
Library Journal [Starred Review]
FAKE LIKE ME is an impressively intelligent thriller ... Expect insightful paragraphs about the creative process sprinkled among the propulsive mystery.
Refinery29, Best Books of June
[A] page-turning story about art imitating life.
The Palm Beach Post
Bourland has an astonishing ability to write viscerally about art, culture, class, and landscape, for a work that’s bound to be one of the summer’s biggest crime/literary crossovers.
In Bourland’s decadent twist on the classic campus novel, a group of struggling artists succeed beyond their wildest dreams, but at what cost? Gloriously mordant and glittering.
— Courtney Maum, author of TOUCH
This book delivers the perfect smart-thriller paradox: you’ll be driven to finish the twisting plot, but you will not want the narrator’s wise observations to end. So drop everything to follow Bourland’s brilliant narrator to Pine City, the upstate artist colony with its crumbling camp buildings and secret histories. You will not see the art world—or a woman’s place in it—the same way again.
— Maria Hummel, author of Still Lives
The process creators go through for the sake of their art ranges from obsessive to self-destructive, and that ideology is escalated with Bourland’s cutthroat prose... The unrelenting threat hovers through the plot and rigidly keeps the reader’s head just above water until the end approaches.
Fangoria, Issue 3
FAKE LIKE ME ... is the work of a writer who has hit her stride.
The Toronto Star, Hot Summer Thrillers
A cast of familiar-yet-eccentric characters plays out multiple storylines—a bizarre mystery (why did the young and famous New York artist Carey Logan drown herself in a lake?), a love story (really, a few), an artist’s coming of age—but at its core, it’s a penetrating, insightful discourse into what it means to be a practicing artist navigating the cut-throat art world.
Baltimore Magazine
Bourland [is] back in fine form ... [FAKE LIKE ME] promises to be the art mystery of the season.
Crime Reads, Best of June
Meet ‘art satire thriller,’ your new favorite genre.
Hello Giggles, 10 Best books of June
With her trademark flair and razor-sharp attention to detail, Barbara Bourland offers the reader an incisive exploration of the tension between the desire to make art and the desire to make money. FAKE LIKE ME is satirical, brilliantly realized, and has a twist you simply won’t see coming...
— Louise O'Neill, author of ONLY EVER YOURS
A ridiculously propulsive ‘du Maurier-esque’ literary thriller and a warning about the deadly consequences of stifling female expression. Could. Not. Put. It. Down.
— Lisa Gabriele, author of THE WINTERS

About Barbara

© janelle jones

Barbara Bourland is the author of I’ll Eat When I’m Dead, a Refinery29 Best Book of 2017. People called I’ll Eat When I’m Dead “delectable.” Annie Bostrom of Booklist wrote “Bourland fills her debut with terrific characters—Cat especially is wonderfully weird and well dimensioned—and a heaping helping of froth and gloss that will turn readers into industry insiders. Delightfully, playfully skewer[s] the fashion and beauty industries.” Wednesday Martin, bestselling author of Primates of Park Avenue and Untrue, called it “a deft, smart, and hilarious debut.” Kirkus noted that “death by beauty was never so much fun,” and the book was featured in Fortune, Us Weekly, and The New York Post, among others. It was published in North America by Grand Central Publishing, and in Ireland, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa by riverrun. I’ll Eat When I’m Dead is now available in paperback, and is forthcoming in Hebrew from Matar Press in Israel.

Bourland is a former freelance writer and web producer for titles at Condé Nast and Hearst, among others. She lives in Baltimore with her husband and their dogs.

Her second novel, Fake Like Me, is forthcoming in hardback, audiobook and ebook in June 2019 from Grand Central Publishing in North America and from riverrun abroad. Fake Like Me was written with support from The Wassaic Project in Wassaic, NY.


Tuesday, June 18
7:00 p.m., in conversation with Nate Brown
The Ivy Bookshop, 6080 Falls Road

Friday, June 21
7:30 p.m., in conversation with Cara Ober
Greedy Reads, 1744 Aliceanna Street

Tuesday, June 25
7:00 p.m., in conversation with Joanna Demkiewicz
Next Chapter Booksellers, 38 South Snelling Ave

Tuesday, July 2
7:30 p.m., in conversation with Colin Winnette
Booksmith, 1644 Haight Street

Wednesday, July 3
7:00 p.m, in conversation with Abby Stern
Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Boulevard

Thursday, July 11
Visiting Artist, Reading + Lecture
The Wassaic Project, Wassaic NY

Saturday, July 13
1pm panel: Researching Your Novel
Thrillerfest, Grand Hyatt

Sunday, July 28
Contributing Guest, Reading + Lecture
Mildred’s Lane

Friday, August 2
7pm, with Courtney Maum
RJ Julia, 768 Boston Post Rd

Saturday, August 3
4pm, with Courtney Maum and Maria Hummel
The Wassaic Project Summer Festival

Wednesday, August 14

Tuesday, August 20
7pm, with Daniela Petrova, Kate McQuade, and Zach Powers
Askew, 150 Chestnut Street


I'll Eat When I'm Dead

Smart and funny... Bourland walks the line between serious and comedy so deftly that anyone who has read a women’s magazine or caught an episode of America’s Next Top Model will understand the jokes and the lessons without conflict.
— Fortune, June 2018


Sex. Drugs. Dries van Noten... A deft, smart, and hilarious debut.
— Wednesday Martin, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of Primates of Park Avenue

Refinery29's Best Books of 2017
People Magazine May Pick
Recommended Reading from the New York Post

A smart, satirical take on fashion and media that will have readers snorting with laughter.
— The New York Post
A highly polished satire... Hilarious.
— Sunday Times (UK)
— People Magazine, May Picks
The darker side of perfection is cast under the spotlight [in this] black comedy.
— Sunday Mirror (UK)

PRAISE For I'll Eat When I'm Dead

Barbara Bourland deftly tackles body-image issues with wit in this mystery.
— US Weekly
A smart feminist fashion manifesto packed with pulpy, sexy, murderous intrigue. Highly entertaining!
— Elizabeth L. Cline, author of Overdressed
A compulsively readable, satirical romp with a sharp and vicious twist, I’LL EAT WHEN I’M DEAD is a timely, smart, and perceptive mystery.
— K.J Howe, author of The Freedom Broker

Chosen for RED ONLINE's Best New Crime Thrillers to Read in 2017 and RED MAGAZINE's Best New Books for May

One part deliciously satirical send-up, one part murder mystery, I’LL EAT WHEN I’M DEAD kept me reading and had me laughing out loud. This bold and wildly entertaining, in-your-face novel takes a clever and scathing look at the turbulent and ethically starved world of New York’s fashion publications, while signaling the arrival of Barbara Bourland as an exciting and savvy new voice in commercial fiction.
— Award winning international bestseller, and Denmark’s “Queen of Crime,” Sara Blaedel
There are tantalizing glimpses of the vulnerability and insecurities beneath the surface... Death by beauty was never so much fun.
— Kirkus Reviews
I’LL EAT WHEN I’M DEAD is a reckless adventure in the world of starry-eyed models, dubiously-sourced drugs, anorexia and Instagram. But don’t let the frills and flashbulbs fool you. Barbara Bourland is here to show you that fashion is a deadly serious business.
— Mikita Brottman, author of The Maximum Security Book Club
Readers will devour this mystery... What at first seems a death by natural causes turns into a murder that will have you guessing at whodunit up until the very end...A fun, witty, edge-of-your-seat ride. FOUR STARS.
— RT Reviews
Biting, funny, and brilliantly subversive; Bourland’s debut is like THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA meets AMERICAN PSYCHO.
— Louise O'Neill, Author of Only Ever Yours, Asking for It, and Almost Love


Outside of North America, FAKE LIKE ME and I'LL EAT WHEN I'M DEAD are published in the UK, Ireland, Australia and Commonwealth by riverrun. FAKE LIKE ME will be on sale overseas on July 11, 2019.



Kamrun Nesa, Grand Central Publishing

Elizabeth Masters, riverrun (UK, Australia, and Commonwealth) 


Victoria Sanders of the Victoria Sanders Agency


babsqueries at gmail dot com