Linked stories of four lonely city dwellers by the New York Times–bestselling author of A Three Dog Life: “A gem” (The Village Voice).
“A lonely hermit, a dead cobbler, a teenage runaway, and a 54-year-old virgin star in this . . . collection of poignant short stories set on New York’s Upper West Side. In concise, deft prose, Thomas interweaves tales of ordinary people coping with urban malaise. The first piece describes Walter, a sci-fi writer, pondering the value of his existence after his wife walks out. After Walter is cheered up by Mexican rooftop singers, the narrative shifts to his troubled neighbor, Edith. An overweight, sexually frustrated woman, Edith’s unusual antics include pocketing her dying mother’s jewelry and leaving flowers in the trash for a homeless woman. As Edith and Walter come to grips with their loneliness, the chaotic New York milieu is a vital force invigorating their lives. After a 14-year old runs away in search of her older sister in the penultimate story, the collection ends with an adulteress struggling to move her dead lover’s body, still clad in her husband’s pajamas. In portraying each of her four characters, Thomas captures the subtle details of city life with elegance, flair, wit, and comic timing.” —Boston Review
“Thomas has a way with details that makes for endings as bittersweet as her beginnings.” —Publishers Weekly
“An entertaining, cohesive, and well-written volume.” —Booklist