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The Good People of New Yorkby Thisbe Nissen
Synopses & Reviews
When Roz Rosenzweig meets Edwin Anderson fumbling for keys on the stoop of a Manhattan walk-up, the last thing on her mind is falling for a polite Nebraskan-yet fall for him she does. So begins Thisbe Nissens breathtaking debut novel, a decidedly urban fairy tale that follows Roz and Edwin as they move from improbable courtship to marriage to the birth of daughter Miranda-the locus of all Rozs attention, anxiety, and often smothering affection.
As Miranda comes of age and begins to chafe against the intensity of her mothers neurotic love, Roz must do her best to let those she cherishes move into the world without her. On crowded subways, in strange bedrooms, at Bar Mitzvahs, in brownstone basements and high school gymnasiums, Nissens unforgettable characters make their hilarious and wrenching way-and prove, indeed, that good things thrive in New York City.
"Thisbe Nissen delivers a dual coming-of-age story with insight, clarity, and grace." Myla Goldberg, author of Bee Season
"Nissen has a style that is careful while remaining hilarious. And her chapter titles alone...are enough for a recommendation. Her most curious device, however, is her habit of leaving us hanging just as things heat up. Major events are omitted, albeit gracefully, from her otherwise thorough account. It is in these devilishly clever gaps that Nissen invites us to interpose our own narratives, as if to emphasize to the reader what she does to her characters: The best people are those who are self-aware." Vogue
"[A] charming tale with candid humor and a sharp eye for detail....Astute characterizations and smart, snappy dialogue anchor an honest, funny portrayal of an inevitably heartbreaking but loving relationship." Publishers Weekly
"Nissen's genius lies in her ability to take ordinary people and skillfully reveal the quirks and emotions that make them utterly fascinating. Even as they are at times achingly familiar, the characters who roam these pages are never in danger of becoming caricatures because of the little insights Nissen allows us into what makes them who they are. A phenomenal debut from a talented young writer." Booklist
"A delightful novel....Aptly incorporates all of the sizzle, sorrow, and sporadic elation that a screwed-up family encounter. Nissen has spun an enticing story one wants to lap up whole." The Boston Phoenix
"Light-hearted but not 'lite,' sweet-natured but never sentimental." The Baltimore Sun
"Funny and tender...Nissen is a perceptive writer with a wry sensibility." Chicago Tribune
About the Author
Thisbe Nissen is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a former James Michener Fellow. She is the author of Out of the Girls' Room and into the Night, and her stories have appeared in Story and Seventeen. A native New Yorker, she now lives in Iowa.
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