Wry, hilarious, and profoundly genuine, this debut collection of literary essays is a celebration of fallibility and haplessness in all their glory. From despoiling an exhibit at the Natural History Museum to provoking the ire of her first boss to siccing the cops on her mysterious neighbor, Crosley can do no right despite the best of intentions-or perhaps because of them. Together, these essays create a startlingly funny and revealing portrait of a complex and utterly recognizable character that's aiming for the stars but hits the ceiling, and the inimitable city that has helped shape who she is. I Was Told There'd Be Cake introduces a strikingly original voice, chronicling the struggles and unexpected beauty of modern urban life.
Some essays are mere snapshots, with endings that leave one wondering what happened after the last line. Others start off being about one thing and cover a lot of ground before ending on an entirely different topic, but somehow it all seems to flow. Sometimes she ends with a zinger, yet it's not always successful, or for that matter, consistent. The essays are of varying lengths, which makes for unpredictable reading, and not necessarily in a good way .... Crosley may be young, but her talent is obvious, making it safe to predict that this book will be the first of many. (Reviewed by Lisa A. Goldstein).
Sloane Crosley channels David Sedaris—and Carrie Bradshaw—in a slightly cracked and often charming collection of essays recounting a suburban girl's adventures in the big city.
Los Angeles Times
The essays in this exquisite collection, Crosley’s first, spin around a young woman's growing up and her first experiences in a big city, New York, as it happens. The voice feels a little like Nora Ephron's, a little like Dorothy Parker’s and David Sedaris’, although Crosley has a spry wistfulness that's very much her own. We envy the lucky guy who found the right words to ask her for a date while she was hanging from a strap in the subway, and applaud the arrival of a very funny writer.
Chicago Tribune - Bethany Scheider
Chick lit teaches us either to hate the skinny, pretty, Upper West Side girl or to wish fruitlessly that we were her - or some combination of the two. But Crosley is not, thank God, a chick litter, and it turns out - who knew? - that being that girl can be magical in its absurdity. Sloane's is a generous, sparkling hilarity, and if the show is in Technicolor, the laughs are never cheap
School Library Journal
A refreshing, original reflection on modern life.
Witty and entertaining.
Starred Review. This debut essay collection is full of sardonic wit and charm.
In addition to being a writer, Sloane Crosley (30 years old this August)
holds a full-time job as a publicist for Vintage Books, a division of Random
House, in New York where she has worked with Joan Didion, Toni Morrison,
Jonathan Lethem and Dave Eggers, among others.
In the winter of 2004, Crosley emailed a group of friends about the story that
later became "Fuck You, Columbus." One of the recipients of this email was an
editor at The Village Voice. He told her that if she made it a little tighter
and wrote an introduction, he would publish it. That was the start of her essay
career. Prior to this, she had only written longer fiction (unpublished), but
fell in love with essay writing.
I Was Told There'd Be Cake has been a New York Times bestseller since
shortly after its release.
Crosley's web site
features three dimensional dioramas based on her essays. The idea came from her
essay "Christmas in July," in which she describes the Inuit diorama she and her
dad made for a...
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