Synopses & Reviews
In a voice reminiscent of Liz Phair one moment and Mary McCarthy the next, Saroyan's debut memoir depicts the often rocky path from girlhood to womanhood. What is it like to come of age in New York, Los Angeles, and London in the twenty-first century? To strive for success, in the throes of an ambition unique to today's young women, and endure failure along the way? To fall in love and walk through the heartbreak of youth's intense yet volatile friendships? From the glittering skyscrapers of Manhattan's media elite to the slacker haven of a fashionably low-rent L.A. bar, Saroyan explores with great feeling and insight the universal dilemma of becoming who we are.
Girl Walks into a Bar takes a handful of the most striking and formative episodes of Saroyan's youth and brings them to life as a filmmaker might, showing the pivotal scenes, the life-altering realizations, the overlapping and nonlinear realities of life. The experience is one of having an intimate conversation with a close friend and creates a new appreciation for the extraordinariness of what is often considered an "ordinary" life. The universality of Saroyan's story, along with her thoughtful and vigorous writing, make Girl Walks into a Bar one of the most impressive debuts of the year.
"At times, Saroyan...gets bogged down by the minutiae of her travails. However, she writes with ease and acuity...putting into words what often goes unsaid about success and its relation to our private lives....Saroyan's story will no doubt resonate for many, whether they're currently struggling in their careers or are in a position to reflect on the bumpy road that got them where they are." Publishers Weekly
"Excruciatingly self-absorbed, often trite memoir of life lessons learned in the author's 20s....Sometimes finely crafted prose only slightly leavens the atmosphere of suffocating narcissism." Kirkus Reviews
"Saroyan's quest for self-knowledge leads to isolation, but also to the pursuit of the life she desires. Her introspective, truthful memoir gets right to the heart of what it means to be a young woman today; many will identify with her questions, her musings, and her fears." Kristine Huntley, Booklist (Starred Review)
"While Saroyan...employs an intriguing style, featuring episodes from her life in nonlinear sequence, the book lacks depth and individuality. Her experiences with friendship, falling in love, and the ever present bar and drug scene fail to ignite and instead provide lengthy introspection into a not very unusual coming of age. Not recommended." Library Journal
"What puts Girl Walks into a Bar in the league of those mythic Manhattan girl books and essays like 'Goodbye to All That' is not the activities described, the scenes, the moves, but rather the sifting through and making sense of those scenes and moves and jobs and, best of all, ambitions. Specifically, ambition itself, and procrastination of growing up are anatomized with a relentlessly perceptive and clear eye." Thomas Beller, author of The Sleep-Over Artist
In a voice reminiscent of Liz Phair one moment and Mary McCarthy the next, Saroyan's debut memoir depicts the often rocky path from girlhood to womanhood, and what it is like to come of age in New York, Los Angeles, and London in the 21st century.
From the glittering skyscrapers of Manhattans media elite to the slacker haven of a fashionably low-rent L.A. bar, Strawberry Saroyan traces her journey from girl- to womanhood, as well as from fantasy to reality. A powerful and profoundly postmodern coming-of-age story, with a voice reminiscent of Liz Phairs one moment and Mary McCarthys the next, Girl Walks into a Bar
explores Saroyans struggle not only with who she is and who she wants to be but also with who she is in the context of what shes supposed to embody: the iconic, media-promulgated “girl,” a twenty-first-century version of Audrey Hepburn standing outside Tiffanys looking at diamonds.
Girl Walks into a Bar takes a handful of the most striking and formative episodes of Saroyans life and brings them to the page as a filmmaker might, zooming in on the crucial “scenes”: Saroyan losing her virginity, starting her own riot-grrrly magazine, falling in dysfunctional love. Yet all the while shes trailed by that other black-clad girl, the Platonic ideal of so many modern young womens fantasies. Will the two ever meet? That question lies at the heart of Saroyans genre-bending memoir. Girl Walks into a Bar promises to be one of the most memorable debuts of the year.
About the Author
Strawberry Saroyan was born in 1970 and grew up in California. After graduating from Barnard, she was an editor at Condé Nast Traveler. Her writing has appeared in Salon, Elle, and Vogue. She lives in Los Angeles.