Synopses & Reviews
Smyles's collection of stories and essays—her first book since her 2013 novel Iris Has Free Time—chronicles the author's young adulthood in New York City after growing up in a right leaning Greek family from Long Island. After a very strong nonstop funny first story about a trip to Greece in which everyone wants to engage the tired protagonist in conversation the rest of the book largely catalogs Iris's litany of boyfriends (an assortment of overweight "toothless" and avuncular types) with varied results. Some stories such as "Enter the Wu Tang" which pokes fun at private school alumni who act like they're gangster rappers ("Having gone to public school I had more street cred than all of them") are successful and relatable. Other pieces such as "Advertisements for My Posthumous Papers" though humorous are overly long. Smyles also delves into the fun dynamic of her family: she can relate to her insomniac father who has a basement full of late night infomercial purchases and ran a party store when she was young. While her mother always seems to be lamenting her daughter's biological clock Smyles herself is content to date and even be alone. She starts her own literary magazine and publishes the occasional story to the nonchalance of her non artistic older brothers. By the time the book winds down our protagonist is 35 and the owner of an apartment in Brooklyn that was purchased by her parents. On paper Smyles might seem spoiled and privileged but her humor self awareness and ability to tell a good story make her good company. (June) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
A series of episodes drawn from the life of "Iris Smyles," a young woman courting (read: resisting) love and success, with absurd yet improbably poignant results