Please join us for a live event featuring local author and UCSB undergraduate student Via Bleidner at UCSB's Mosher Alumni House on Thursday, October 21 at 4:30 p.m. Ms. Bleidner will be in conversation with fellow author and UCSB lecturer Ellen O'Connell-Whittet (WHAT YOU BECOME IN FLIGHT).
If You Lived Here You'd Be Famous by Now is an insider’s collection of funny and warmhearted stories about coming of age in the Los Angeles suburb famed for birthing the Kardashian-Jenners and the Bling Ring.
For Via Bleidner, transferring to Calabasas High from the private Catholic school she’s attended since second grade is a culture shock, not to mention absolutely lonely. Suddenly thrust into an unfamiliar world of celebrities, affluenza, and McMansions, Via takes a page from Cameron Crowe and pretends she’s on a journalism assignment, taking notes on her classmates and jotting down bits of overheard gossip.
Getting through high school in Calabasas is something else—from Kim Kardashian endorsing the students’ favorite hidden lunch spot, to the theater program hiring a famous dog to play Elle Woods' Chihuahua in its production of Legally Blonde, and Kanye trying to take control of your school to make it the very first YEEZY institution.
But instead of floating through high school detached from her peers, Via finds that putting herself out there—for her writing, of course—just might have been exactly what she needed. She unexpectedly finds an eclectic group of friends to call her own, including a multi-multi-millionaire, a wild-card throwback intent on going viral, a former Disney actor, and a doughnut-dealing madman.
With wit, candor, and sharp observations, twenty-one-year-old Via grounds the surreal glamour of Calabasas with reflections on her own coming-of-age, sharing her teenage misadventures as she struggles to fit in, faces crushing social pressure, and eventually makes her own way.
About the Author
Via Bleidner is studying Writing and Literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She lives in Isla Vista. When she’s not writing, she’s shotgunning Bang Energy, dodging the debt collector, and badgering her professors for homework extensions. If You Lived Here You’d Be Famous By Now is her debut.
"Whether it be driver’s test anxiety or prom dress distress, teens share a core set of generational stressors—except for the students of Calabasas High School. The youngsters of the infamous Los Angeles enclave navigate a very different set of adolescent issues. . . . Bleidner offers an unfiltered, thoughtful, and witty insider’s perspective on the suburb that birthed the Kardashian-Jenners and the Bling Ring, and examines the ugly underbelly of fame.” —The Daily Beast
“At just 21, Bleidner brings a wise-beyond-her-years wit and perspective to her writing that makes her work feel just as worthy as that of any wizened memoirist . . . a hilarious and poignant exploration of the Gen Z high school experience.” —Booklist
“The switched-on social set will find this [colorful debut] full of charm. Readers will be eager to see where Bleidner goes next.” —Publishers Weekly