Fresh out of college in 1992, Cheryl Della Pietra worked as Hunter S. Thompson’s personal assistant for five months. All these years later, her “mashed up” memories of some of the many colorful folks she encountered in Woody Creek, Colo., form the basis of her debut novel Gonzo Girl.
Tomorrow night, Della Pietra, who grew up in Guilford, Conn., and now makes her home in Branford, will read from the book at the Guilford Free Library. There’s always cause for celebration when an event involves the third-party publication of a first-time novelist. But in Della Pietra’s case, there’s an additional and wholly more important reason to cheer.
From a recent interview piece in the Shoreline Times:
Della Pietra is recovering from lymphoma. The cancer was diagnosed last November. She finished chemo in April. Gonzo Girl was published in July. She has a clean bill of health, and her hair is growing back. “My hair follicles are very robust,” she says…
Could she, then, be having fun, as Hunter prescribed?
“I am having an absolute blast,” she says. “I feel like I’ve been trying to write a book for a very long time, and after this very long year, dealing with cancer, I am just trying to enjoy the moment.”
The reviews for Gonzo Girl have been solid. EW called it “thrilling;” Newsday compared it to a “thrill ride” in a certain red convertible; and Elle raves that the book is “full throttle from page one.”
Previously on FishbowlNY:
Fans May Soon Be Able to Take the Hunter S. Thompson Ride
[Jacket cover courtesy: Touchstone]