Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

Kathleen Rooney. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-11332-0
Inspired by Margaret Fishback, poet and Macy’s ad-writing phenom of the 1930s, Rooney imagines an extraordinary walk through the streets of New York City on the last night of 1984, one that triggers a flood of memories for fictional ad woman Lillian Boxfish. The octogenarian muses on the changing urban landscape as she stops at favorite haunts: an intimate neighborhood bar that’s just installed a TV, a restaurant where she’s dined every New Year’s Eve that’s about to change owners, the famed Delmonico’s, where she ended her marriage. Further stops include a changing lower Manhattan landscape where she meets a haunted Vietnam veteran and engages him in a “best last-line contest,” a detour to a hospital emergency room with a frightened woman about to have her first baby, and a party where she’s both scorned and adored by a new generation of artists, followed by a hilarious encounter with three muggers. Meanwhile, Lillian carefully recounts her celebrated career in advertising, her adored husband and son, and her emotional breakdown. Elegantly written, Rooney creates a glorious paean to a distant literary life and time—and an unabashed celebration of human connections that bridge the past and future. Agent: Lisa Bankoff, ICM Partners. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/17/2016
Release date: 01/17/2017
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-250-11333-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4272-8237-8
Hardcover - 434 pages - 978-1-4104-9966-0
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