Beyond the Book: Background information when reading I Was Told There'd Be Cake

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I Was Told There'd Be Cake

by Sloane Crosley

I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley
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  • Paperback:
    Apr 2008, 240 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lisa A. Goldstein

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Did you know?

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 Prior to this, she had only written longer fiction (unpublished), but fell in love with essay writing.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 third-grade school project. Describing the dioramas, she says:

"The Plexiglas, divided into compartments, would replicate the experience of reading the essays. Since the essay paragraphs (hopefully) flow into each other, the dioramas are set up so that you can see the next scene while looking at the previous one. And when you’re done examining each compartment, you can look at the whole thing at one time.

Speaking of her first name to a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, she explains that "my family is Russian and, technically, my name means 'elephant' in Russian. This is a coincidence, but because I am neither obese nor big-eared, I can share this fact with strangers and it comes off as flirty." In fact, she was named for a character in a B movie with Charlton Heston.


Interesting Links
More about Sloane in the New York Observer.
Sloane speaks about one of her favorite books, The Secret Garden, on NPR.

This article is from the May 15, 2008 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

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