Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk: A Novel

By Kathleen Rooney
Read by Xe Sands

8.85 Hours 01/17/2017 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9781427282385

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    ISBN: 9781427282378

“In my reckless and undiscouraged youth,” Lillian Boxfish writes, “I worked in a walnut-paneled office thirteen floors above West Thirty-Fifth Street…” She took 1930s New York by storm, working her way up writing copy for R.H. Macy’s to become the highest paid advertising woman in the country. It was a job that, she says, “in some ways saved my life, and in other ways ruined it.” Now it’s the last night of 1984 and Lillian, 85 years old but just as sharp and savvy as ever, is on her way to a party. It’s chilly enough out for her mink coat and Manhattan is grittier now—her son keeps warning her about a subway vigilante on the prowl—but the quick-tongued poetess has never been one to scare easily. On a walk that takes her over 10 miles around the city, she meets bartenders, bodega clerks, security guards, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be, while reviewing a life of excitement and adversity, passion and heartbreak, illuminating all the ways New York has changed—and has not. A love letter to city life in all its guts and grandeur, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic; the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop. Lillian figures she might as well take her time. For now, after all, the night is still young.

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Summary

Summary

A People Pick of the Week

Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

An Amazon Editor’s Top Pick for January 2017

A Library Journal Editor’s Pick for Fall 2016

“In my reckless and undiscouraged youth,” Lillian Boxfish writes, “I worked in a walnut-paneled office thirteen floors above West Thirty-Fifth Street…”

She took 1930s New York by storm, working her way up writing copy for R.H. Macy’s to become the highest paid advertising woman in the country. It was a job that, she says, “in some ways saved my life, and in other ways ruined it.”

Now it’s the last night of 1984 and Lillian, 85 years old but just as sharp and savvy as ever, is on her way to a party. It’s chilly enough out for her mink coat and Manhattan is grittier now—her son keeps warning her about a subway vigilante on the prowl—but the quick-tongued poetess has never been one to scare easily. On a walk that takes her over 10 miles around the city, she meets bartenders, bodega clerks, security guards, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be, while reviewing a life of excitement and adversity, passion and heartbreak, illuminating all the ways New York has changed—and has not.

A love letter to city life in all its guts and grandeur, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic; the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop.

Lillian figures she might as well take her time. For now, after all, the night is still young.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Transporting…witty, poignant, and sparkling.” People
“A perfect fusing of subject and writer, idea and ideal.” Chicago Tribune
“Between author Rooney’s story and narrator Xe Sands’s craftsmanship, this Walk will sweep listeners off their feet. Sands captures the essence of eighty-year-old Lillian Boxfish…Through Sands we feel the force of Lillian’s personality—with all its drive, wit, and grace—as well as the counterforces that want to constrain it. A concluding interview explores why the performances of the most exemplary narrators are so seemingly effortless yet so compelling. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.” AudioFile
“A glorious paean to a distant literary life and time―and an unabashed celebration of human connections that bridge past and future.” Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed review)
“Rooney’s delectably theatrical fictionalization is laced with strands of tart poetry and emulates the dark sparkle of Dorothy Parker, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Truman Capote. Effervescent with verve, wit, and heart, Rooney’s nimble novel celebrates insouciance, creativity, chance, and valor.” Booklist (starred review)
Reader Xe Sands voices poignancy, old age, wit and youthful snark beautifully... Library Journal, starred review
“A lively, fictionalized version of Fishback’s story…[with] plenty of charm.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Kathleen Rooney

Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, an indie nonprofit publisher, and lives in Chicago, where she appeared on New City Lit’s list of “Lit 50 15: Who Really Books in Chicago.” Her works include poetry and nonfiction, as well as the novel O, Democracy! (2014). Her art-modeling memoir Live Nude Girl: My Life as an Object was published by University of Arkansas Press (2009). Reading with Oprah: The Book Club That Changed America (University of Arkansas, 2005) was her first book. Other work has appeared or is forthcoming in the New York Times Magazine, Allure, Salon, the Rumpus, and the Chicago Tribune.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD
Category: Fiction/Literary
Runtime: 8.85
Audience: Adult
Language: English