Synopses & Reviews
Hilarious, sexy, and deeply tender, Kissing in Manhattan
follows a troupe of love-hungry urbanites through a charmed metropolis and into the Preemption -- the mythic Manhattan apartment building readers first discovered when The New Yorker
debuted David Schickler's stunning short story "The Smoker."
Now, in Schickler's eagerly anticipated first book, the Preemption sets the stage for a romantic fantasy as exuberant, dark, and dazzling as the city it occupies. Behind closed doors, the paths of an improbable cast of tenants -- a seductive perfume heiress; a crabby, misunderstood actor; a preternaturally sharp-sighted priest -- tangle and cross, while a perilous love triangle builds around three characters:
James Branch, a shy young accountant with an unusual love for the Preemption's antique elevator, and a strange destiny...
Patrick Rigg, a Wall Street lothario who soothes his pain by seducing beautiful women, carrying a gun, and attending the nightly sermons of a foreboding priest...
Rally McWilliams, a fetching, hopeful young writer who roams the city at night, searching for the soulmate she believes in but can't find...
Charged with joy and a deadly sense of humor, Kissing in Manhattan is a daring new writer's vision of a world where men and women, good and evil, love and sex, meet, battle, and embrace on every street corner.
"The loose architecture of linked stories...may be a convenient medium for delivering riffs on the fractured, episodic experience of being young and on the loose in the big city. But too many interconnections whet the reader's appetite for a kind of narrative payoff that [Schickler's] two-dimensional main characters just don't deliver....Schickler falls between two stools by being self-consciously precious in his details and deadly earnest in his main characterizations. One wishes this often entertaining writer had cut some of the bits..." Jennifer Schuessler, The New York Times Book Review
"One of the most charming and memorable debuts this year is Kissing in Manhattan....Tenderness and darkness are around every corner...There are Gothic overtones, bits of magical realism, moments of true eroticism with hints of danger....This tender, lovely book and these love-starved and hopeful individuals linger like a readers dream." The New Orleans Times-Picayune
"Schicklers playfully alive voice is uniquely his own sprightly, exact, Herculean in all the fundamentals. What talent! From beginning to end, here you have some of the most pleasurable storytelling of this or any year." Darin Straus, author of Chang and Eng
Hilarious, sexy, and deeply tender, "Kissing in Manhattan" follows an unforgettable troupe of love-hungry urbanites through a magical Manhattan, a charmed metropolis where fantasy collides with fate.
About the Author
David Schickler is a graduate of the Columbia M.F.A. program. He lives in New York. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, and Zoetrope.