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A Normal Family


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About the Author

Raised in Los Angeles by an eccentric mother and a father who struggled with mental illness, Chrysta Bilton was in her mid-20s when she found out that her family was much more complicated than she ever could have imagined. She graduated from Barnard College in New York, studied classical drawing and painting at the Florence Academy of Art and currently runs her own public relations firm. Chrysta lives in Los Angeles with her husband, the writer Nick Bilton, their two children, Emerson and Somerset, two dogs and one cat, Pixel, Pine Cone, and Piano. A Normal Family is her first book.


Bilton's twisty life story is fascinating, and her eye for detail and ability to plumb her painful past for meaning make this a riveting debut. * PEOPLE magazine *
This beautiful, warm, funny book is a testament to human resilience, forgiveness and humour. It is also a love letter to an extraordinary mother. * The Times *
Is there anything original left to say about surviving a dysfunctional upbringing? A Normal Family by Chrysta Bilton takes this question almost as a dare. * BOOKPAGE *
Vulnerable and omniscient * USA TODAY *
Extraordinary * The Guardian *
5* - A jaw-dropping memoir * The Telegraph *
One of the maddest memoirs you'll read this year... a beautiful, warm, funny book. * The Times *
A wholly absorbing page-turner that everyone will want to read. You should probably buy two. * Kirkus *
I thought my family was complicated until I read Chrysta Bilton's wonderful memoir about the unique collection of irresistible characters in her life. Bilton has a big heart, gentle wisdom, keen eye and lovely wit. She's a gifted writer with an astonishing story to tell. * David Sheff, author of Beautiful Boy *
By turns hilarious, wrenching, and achingly tender, this is a memoir about family that turns the whole idea of family upside down. Bilton writes beautifully, with sharp insight and a light touch, about her harrowing, astonishing journey into understanding her parents, her (very) extended family, and herself. * Susan Orlean, New York Times bestselling author of 'On Animals' and 'Rin Tin Tin' *
A Normal Family had me absolutely riveted from beginning to end. Chrysta Bilton has woven an impeccable narrative about the explosion of love, betrayal, addiction, and menagerie of animals that made up her madcap and calamitous childhood. The story is dominated by Bilton's hedonistic, cult-inclined, womanizing, unstable and uncanny lesbian single mother, who had to make it up as she went along, and is surely one of the most mesmerizing "characters" in recent memoir. A Normal Family narrowly escapes being a tragedy, redeemed by Bilton's compassionate storytelling and unwavering love for her untraditional family. * Stephanie Danler, author of 'Sweetbitter' *
It's hard to put into words the many ways this book spoke to me. Normal Family reads like a thriller with its core mystery being the very meaning of life itself: vividly specific but also universal, with family as protagonist and antagonist, but always the hero. * Ry Russo-Young, filmmaker (Nuclear Family) *
Chrysta Bilton's astonishing, wildly unpredictable memoir Normal Family starts out as rollicking and suspenseful and only ramps up from there, becoming by turns frightening, riotously funny, and finally quite moving. * Robert Kolker, New York Times bestselling author of 'Hidden Valley Road' *
Eloquently written and compulsively readable, Bilton's jaw-dropping coming-of-age memoir-and the love and survival found within its pages-is one readers won't soon forget. * Library Journal *
A remarkable and wise book, two memoirs braided together with such tendresse that readers will come to believe the ironic title in earnest * LA Times *
An ebullient debut that proves it's love, not DNA, that makes a family * PEOPLE magazine *

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