Summary and book reviews of Amy Falls Down by Jincy Willett

Amy Falls Down

by Jincy Willett

Amy Falls Down
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2013, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2014, 336 pages

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Book Summary

A scathingly funny and wickedly humorous roman-a-clef by one of our most acclaimed literary humorists - about a bitterly uninspired writer who decides to change her life after a freak accident.

The endearingly bitter writer, Amy Gallup has happily isolated herself from the world spending the last two decades teaching and reviewing - she's done a lot of thinking ... but very little writing. On an unassuming morning, in her slippers, Amy trips in her backyard, goes head-over-heels, and into the side of a birdbath. The hospital clears her of head injury - so Amy returns home. When a local reporter shows up for a scheduled interview - Amy is not quite herself.

The article paints Amy as a the zen-goddess of writing, publishing ... and life. Her bizarre interview was interpreted as the rambling of a true genius. But all that really happened was: Amy fell down!

The next thing she knows, friends and fans are coming out of the woodwork. Suddenly Amy is on radio shows, keynoting a major publishing event, and guiding a local writers' retreat.  But the strangest thing of all:  Amy starts to write.

Readers witness Amy confront her past and present, and choose to take down the walls she so carefully wrote up around her.  Amy Falls Down is a novel both surprisingly heartwarming and a witty mirror into today's publishing world - as only Jincy Willett could write.

A scathingly funny and wickedly humorous roman-a-clef by one of our most acclaimed literary humorists - about a bitterly uninspired writer who decides to change her life after a freak accident.

CHAPTER ONE
Accident

Because the Norfolk pine was heavy, and also because she was wearing house slippers, having not yet dressed for the day, Amy took her time getting to the raised garden. Her house slippers were fuzzy, oversized, and floppy, and if she moved too fast, she would walk right out of them.

She was not yet dressed for the day because she had no reason to dress until much later, at which time she'd have to dress uncomfortably, and she was in no hurry to do that. At three o'clock a reporter from The San Diego Union-Tribune was coming to interview Amy as part of some bogus series about local writers. Although she'd specified no current events and especially no photographs, she didn't trust a reporter who sounded on the phone as though she were eight years old and couldn't think of anything funnier than not wanting your face on public display. Imagine, her laughter implied, denying the world the chance to gaze upon you. So Amy dreaded the ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Trust me, if you love books, and love to read, this is for you. Like the characters in the book that discover (or re-discover) Amy Gallup I want to read everything that Jincy Willett has written. Keep a dictionary handy because her vocabulary is amazing...   (Reviewed by BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers).

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Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

Amy is endearing, yet it is difficult to remain curious about a heroine whose only interest is writing. Willett's skill in crafting zany scenes and Amy's acerbic wit are not enough to keep this novel afloat.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Willett uses her charmingly filterless heroine as a mouthpiece to slam a parade of thinly veiled literati and media personalities with riotous accuracy, but she balances the snark with moments of poignancy.

Reader Reviews

Patricia S. (Yankton, SD)

Amy Rises Again
I first met Amy Gallup and her creator Jincy Willet a few years ago when I read Winner of the National Book Award. What a delight to encounter her again in Amy Falls Down. And what a delight this book is. It is hard to classify. It is literate, ...   Read More

Shirley D. (Amherst, MA)

AMY FALLS DOWN
I wish Amy lived nearby! and regret she is fictional. We could have great times. I had to keep turning pages as quickly as I could - I really wanted to know what she did next. The writing was exceptional and the humor dry and delightful. A reader...   Read More

Beth T. (Savannah, GA)

I Love Amy!
What a fun, fun book. It's quirky, and difficult to describe in a way that conveys just what a delight it is -- but if you love books, and reading, and writing, and struggling writers, and dogs, and women, and unpredictable changes, and -- oh hell --...   Read More

Joan R. (Chicago, IL)

A Wonderful Blend of Laughter and Poignancy
This is a terrific book and I urge everyone to read it. While Willett nicely skewers the publishing world with a cast of characters and adventures certain to make you laugh out loud, she also adds very poignant moments from Amy's life, both past ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Writers and the Fine Art of Self-Promotion

Irish writer Nuala Ní Chonchúir wrote in a blog for the Irish Writer's Centre:

The promotional end of things is not always fun for writers. We are often, by nature, solitary beings, preferring our own company – and that of our fictional friends – to that of real people. We are OK with being on our own, tapping out imagined lives on our computers. But once the book is written and published, there is a whole slew of other stuff that we have to take part in and that can be daunting. These include readings, appearances, signings, book tours, interviews and, sometimes, amusing photo shoots.

She is right. It is often hard for writers, who have been trained to do solitary work and who are often introverted by nature, to ...

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