The wonderful story collection from the author of Standard Deviation
‘Heiny's work does something magical: gives women's interior lives the gravity they so richly deserve and makes you laugh along the way’ Lena Dunham
‘Like Cheever mixed with Ephron’ New York Times
‘Simply wonderful, I savoured every page’ Guardian
Maya’s dog is dying, and she is planning to leave her boyfriend. On the whole she feels worse about the dog.
Nina thought it might be difficult to summon the moral fortitude to have an extramarital affair with a Presbyterian minister living above the garbage, but she discovers that almost anything is possible.
A teenager finds an affair with her history teacher too sealed off from the rest of her life, like the last slice of cake under a glass dome.
These women are best friends, roommates and mistresses. They tipple and titillate, fantasize and fumble, worry and wander. They make poor choices in men and children’s magicians and wise choices in what to wear to meet their lovers’ wives. None of them are single (or carefree or mellow) but all are irresistible and all too familiar.
‘Adulterers, platonic roommates, and suburban neurotics have never been more relatable’ US Vogue
‘A wry, bittersweet debut … like Cheever mixed with Ephron’ New York Times Book Review
‘Lorrie Moore’s influence is palpable … these enjoyable stories mark the arrival of an accomplished voice.’ Independent
‘No matter how good you imagine it is, it's better’ Glamour US
‘The stories, which read like Woody Allen meets Candace Bushnell, can be fascinatingly sleazy. But they are always funny’ Daily Mail
‘The buzziest book of 2015 … This whip-smart collection about women wrapped up in all kinds of love affairs will have you laughing out loud’ Entertainment Weekly
‘A book about heartache, adultery, love, and loss that somehow manages to be both laugh-out-loud funny and wise, sometimes in the very same sentence … This book is amazing, brilliant, and nothing short of wonderful’ Jennifer Close, author of Girls in White Dresses and The Smart One
‘Heiny’s smart and stylishly-written stories are a delight. The women who populate this book are wonderfully human and relatable, both hapless and full of heart’ Adelle Waldman, author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P
‘Exquisitely-composed stories (all featuring women in various states of love), Heiny’s book takes a disarming and wry look at the inherent nature of betrayal and secrets within relationships’ Elle UK
‘Heiny explores sex, relationships and the internal lives of young women in this charmingly candid collection … Following their stories is like sitting at a dive bar tossing back deceptively pretty, surprisingly strong drinks with a pal who may not always make the best decisions but always comes away with the most colourful tales’ Kirkus
‘Writerly seduction … heart-rending’ Janet Maslin, New York Times
‘Fizzingly funny short stories’ Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Observer
About the author
Katherine Heiny's fiction has been published in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Narrative,Glimmer Train, and many other places. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and children. This is her first book.
Dissatisfied teenagers and bored housewives, clueless boyfriends and cuckolded husbands, and 11 variations on the recurrent theme of infidelity and its fallout populate Heiny's first collection of stories. "The Dive Bar" shows a woman cajoled into having drinks with her lover's more sophisticated wife; unsurprisingly, the t te t te ends doesn't end well. "Blue Heron Bridge" finds a physique-obsessed mother consumed by an affair with an aging personal trainer. In the second-person "The Rhett Butlers," a teenager embarks on a tour of seedy hotel rooms and blah sex with her smarmy high school history teacher. A man leaves a dalliance with a woman he met on Facebook for a gal whose tweets he admires in "Cranberry Relish." Three of the offerings "Dark Matter," "Grendel's Mother," and the title story follow the romantic entanglements and discontented musings of one character through marriage to her long-time boyfriend and pregnancy. But it's hard to care about her fate when her snarky asides about life's superficialities and near-constant critique of herself (and her relationship) continue unabated, despite her changed circumstances. First printing: 50,000 copies.