Trashy celebrity bios are usually diminished by the fact that we've already heard the stories about Lonnie and Burt, or Madonna and Sean, or whoever the current target is. Author Stephen Fried manages to get all the sleaze value plus a lot of surprises by choosing supermodel Gia Carangi as his topic. Although her face is widely recognized, Gia finished her modeling career in a blaze of heroin and disease just before the time when models became celebrities with name recognition. Her life is the perfect fodder for the exploitation market, but Fried goes beyond that with fluid prose and a reporter's nose for tracking down sources. His stories about her teenage years, with their mix of late nights in Philadelphia's gay clubs, manic worship, and glam-style imitation of David Bowie, as well as tales of Gia's ability to seduce her friends, male and female, are the product of a lot of work and make for very interesting reading. Gia's unabashed homosexuality and early death from AIDS make her story a palimpsest of life on the edge in the America of the 1980s.
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From Publishers Weekly
"Gia" Marie Carang (1960-1986) hit the fashion world like a storm in the late 1970s, after she was discovered by model agent Wilhelmina Cooper; soon she was pictured on the covers of Vogue and Cosmopolitan , delighting photographers with her androgynous look. Relying on interviews with Gia's family and friends, freelance writer Fried details her meteoric rise and tragic fall into drug addiction and death from AIDS. Although Gia lived an independent life as a teenager, dividing her time between the Pennsylvania homes of her estranged parents and openly conducting love affairs with other young women, she evidently could not cope with the stresses of success. Fried brings to life the drug-drenched milieu of the 1980s fashion industry, but fails to dig beneath the flamboyant, rebellious attitude Gia presented to the world to provide insight into her character--although he does convey her troubled relationship with her mother. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.