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Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk Hardcover – 17 Jan 2017

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 287 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (17 Jan. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250113326
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250113320
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 2.8 x 0.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 314,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Easily the best gadding-around-town novel since Dawn Powell and Dorothy Parker.
- Daniel Handler, author of "Why We Broke Up" and "We Are Pirates"
""
"There is a little of Lillian Boxfish in all of us. And if there isn t, there ought to be.
- Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of" Be Frank With Me""

Easily the best gadding-around-town novel since Dawn Powell and Dorothy Parker.
Daniel Handler, author of Why We Broke Up and We Are Pirates

"There is a little of Lillian Boxfish in all of us. And if there isn t, there ought to be.
Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of Be Frank With Me

What a city and what a gal!
Ellen Sandmeyer, Sandmeyer's Bookstore

It reminded me of Anne Tyler, transferred from Baltimore to Manhattan This is a lady worth taking a journey with.
Alden Graves, Northshire Bookstore

Gorgeous book; glorious narrator a delicious cocktail of wit, grit, and poignancy Walk with her. You ll never find a companion like this again.
Banna Rubinow, the river s end bookstore

"A lively, fictionalized version of Fishback's story...[with] plenty of charm."
Kirkus Reviews

"

Extraordinary Hilarious Elegantly written, Rooney creates 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)

Easily the best gadding-around-town novel since Dawn Powell and Dorothy Parker.
Daniel Handler, author of Why We Broke Up and We Are Pirates

"There is a little of Lillian Boxfish in all of us. And if there isn t, there ought to be.
Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of Be Frank With Me

"A lively, fictionalized version of Fishback's story...[with] plenty of charm."
Kirkus Reviews

"

Extraordinary Hilarious Elegantly written, Rooney creates 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)

Easily the best gadding-around-town novel since Dawn Powell and Dorothy Parker.
Daniel Handler, author of Why We Broke Up and We Are Pirates

"There is a little of Lillian Boxfish in all of us. And if there isn t, there ought to be.
Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of Be Frank With Me

"A lively, fictionalized version of Fishback's story...[with] plenty of charm."
Kirkus Reviews

Vividly depicts an evolving New York City as well as the changing roles of women over the course of the 20th century.
BookPage

"

Extraordinary hilarious Elegantly written, Rooney creates 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)

"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)

Needle-sharp....A delightful stroll with a colorful character.
Library Journal (starred review)

Easily the best gadding-around-town novel since Dawn Powell and Dorothy Parker.
Daniel Handler, author of Why We Broke Up and We Are Pirates

"There is a little of Lillian Boxfish in all of us. And if there isn t, there ought to be.
Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of Be Frank With Me

"A lively, fictionalized version of Fishback's story...[with] plenty of charm."
Kirkus Reviews

Vividly depicts an evolving New York City as well as the changing roles of women over the course of the 20th century.
BookPage

"

"Transporting...witty, poignant and sparkling."
--People (People Picks Book of the Week)

"Prescient and quick....A perfect fusing of subject and writer, idea and ideal."
--Chicago Tribune

"Extraordinary...hilarious...Elegantly written, Rooney creates 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)

"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)

"Needle-sharp....A delightful stroll with a colorful character."
--Library Journal (starred review)

"Charming."
--Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"Easily the best gadding-around-town novel since Dawn Powell and Dorothy Parker."
--Daniel Handler, author of Why We Broke Up and We Are Pirates

"There is a little of Lillian Boxfish in all of us. And if there isn't, there ought to be."
--Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of Be Frank With Me

"A lively, fictionalized version of Fishback's story...[with] plenty of charm."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Vividly depicts an evolving New York City as well as the changing roles of women over the course of the 20th century."
--BookPage



NOW A NATIONAL INDIE BESTSELLER

-Irresistible...funny and touching....This witty and heartfelt ode to a city, to its infinite variety, to its melting pot of citizens not only enchants but offers an important lesson: that human connections and work are what give life meaning.-
--Boston Globe

-Transporting...witty, poignant and sparkling.-
--People (People Picks Book of the Week)

-Prescient and quick....A perfect fusing of subject and writer, idea and ideal.-
--Chicago Tribune

-Lillian's wide-ranging meditations are reason enough to read this charming novel, but it's also like taking a street-level tour through six decades of New York.-
--New York Times

-Extraordinary...hilarious...Elegantly written, Rooney creates 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)

-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)

-Effervescent...steeped in humanity and wit.-
--The Christian Science Monitor (10 Best Books of January)

-Needle-sharp....A delightful stroll with a colorful character.-
--Library Journal (starred review)

-Past and present intermingle in Rooney's novel, distinguished by a careful shift from past to present tense but always unified by Lillian's unfailingly witty, reflective voice.-
--BookReporter

-Charming.-
--Minneapolis Star-Tribune

-Easily the best gadding-around-town novel since Dawn Powell and Dorothy Parker.-
--Daniel Handler, author of Why We Broke Up and We Are Pirates

-There is a little of Lillian Boxfish in all of us. And if there isn't, there ought to be.-
--Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of Be Frank With Me

-A lively, fictionalized version of Fishback's story...[with] plenty of charm.-
--Kirkus Reviews

-If you are not charmed by Lillian Boxfish, then there may be no hope for you.-
---Bookpage (Book of the Day)

-This walk will sweep listeners off their feet...seemingly effortless yet so compelling.-
--AudioFile Magazine (Earphones Award winner)



NOW A NATIONAL INDIE BESTSELLER

"Irresistible...funny and touching....This witty and heartfelt ode to a city, to its infinite variety, to its melting pot of citizens not only enchants but offers an important lesson: that human connections and work are what give life meaning."
--Boston Globe

"Transporting...witty, poignant and sparkling."
--People (People Picks Book of the Week)

"Prescient and quick....A perfect fusing of subject and writer, idea and ideal."
--Chicago Tribune

"Lillian's wide-ranging meditations are reason enough to read this charming novel, but it's also like taking a street-level tour through six decades of New York."
--New York Times

"Extraordinary...hilarious...Elegantly written, Rooney creates 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)

"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)

"Effervescent...steeped in humanity and wit."
--The Christian Science Monitor (10 Best Books of January)

"Needle-sharp....A delightful stroll with a colorful character."
--Library Journal (starred review)

"Past and present intermingle in Rooney's novel, distinguished by a careful shift from past to present tense but always unified by Lillian's unfailingly witty, reflective voice."
--BookReporter

"Charming."
--Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"Easily the best gadding-around-town novel since Dawn Powell and Dorothy Parker."
--Daniel Handler, author of Why We Broke Up and We Are Pirates

"There is a little of Lillian Boxfish in all of us. And if there isn't, there ought to be."
--Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of Be Frank With Me

"A lively, fictionalized version of Fishback's story...[with] plenty of charm."
--Kirkus Reviews

"If you are not charmed by Lillian Boxfish, then there may be no hope for you."
---Bookpage (Book of the Day)

"This walk will sweep listeners off their feet...seemingly effortless yet so compelling."
--AudioFile Magazine (Earphones Award winner)

Review

'Extraordinary … hilarious … Elegantly written, Rooney creates a glorious paean to a distant literary life and time – and an unabashed celebration of human connections that bridge past and future.' (Publishers Weekly)

'A lively, fictionalized version of Fishback's story ... [with] plenty of charm.' (Kirkus Reviews)

'Effervescent with verve, wit, and heart, Rooney’s nimble novel celebrates insouciance, creativity, chance, and valor.' (Booklist) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

See all Product description

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Lillian Boxfish is inspired in part by the life and work of the poet and ad woman Margaret Fishback- the real highest-paid female advertising copywriter in the world during the 1930s at R H Macy's.
This is like "Mad Men for Women" - perhaps a parallel series when Peggy takes centre stage and gets to fully show off her talents- "Mad Men" crossed with a more upbeat, less serious Jane Eyre or Elizabeth Bennet. Lillian is wry, witty, sharp, intelligent and fascinating. This is a swift 290 page enjoyable read about a memorable character full of colour, flair and edginess.

"There once was a girl named Phoebe Snow. She wore only white and held tight to a violet corsage, an emblem of modesty. She was not retiring though, and her life spun out as a series of journeys through mountain tunnels carved from poetry. .......No there wasn't. She was just an advertisement."

And so opens the novel and the story of Lillian Boxfish.

Lillian Boxfish who is led to Manhattan and poetry by Phoebe Snow, applying for jobs with a short rhyme which lands her a position at the department store R H Macy's and the start of a successful career in advertising and poetry writing. Determined not to live the life of her mother who married and left behind her education to run an efficient household where ironically, she became a women who was quickly affronted by "anyone not living a life that fit the mould of her own- wifedom, motherhood....." Lillian bravely defies conventions from the outset.

It is the last day of the year and our bold, confident protagonist starts her walk around the city telling us about her career, marriage, family life and other key events in her past.
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Format: Kindle Edition
It is New Year's Eve and Lillian Boxfish, age 85, leaves her cat Phoebe, and her apartment in Murray Hill to dine alone at one of her favorite restaurants. She is early so she decides to go for a walk. Walking is something she has done all her life, often walking over five miles per day. It is in walking that she has found her muse, inspiring her to write poetry and come up with her very best ideas. Now when she walks, she surveys modern society and ponders social change. Now her thoughts are heavily interspersed with reminiscences of her youth.

Lillian is not at all hungry, so after a quick drink at the restaurant, she finds herself not ready to return home. So she walks some more. And she walks... and she walks... her destination is to another restaurant - Delmonico's. She feels that by the time she gets there she will finally be hungry.

Lillian's reminiscences relate her memories of some of the most interesting and historically significant times in the history of New York. In her bohemian youth she has lived through the affluent 1920s, the 'Crash' in the 1930s, prohibition, WWII, and the list goes on and on. Her story has so much potential! However... throughout it all, Lillian seemed disconnected to events. Always quite successful, she seems unaffected by the stock market crash as she worked right through it. She drank and partied her way through prohibition.

"I am old and all I have left is time. I don't mean time to live; I mean free time. Time to fill. Time to kill until time kills me."

Now an octogenarian, Lillian laments her lost youth, and reflects upon the loneliness incumbent on the aged - when many friends, acquaintances, and contemporaries are no longer living. My problem with that was that the story read almost like a report.
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Format: Hardcover
Lillian is stylish, witty (even waspish at times), single-minded, successful, generous but also a woman whose life has not followed an untroubled path. During her walk on New Year’s Eve, we learn about her pioneering career in advertising, her relationships and get hints of darker times that are only fully revealed towards the end of the book. Lillian takes pride in her ability to use words as tools (whether to craft advertising copy or poetry) but also, on occasions, as weapons. Some of my favourites “Lillianisms” include:

“My mother resented Sadie like a stepsister resenting Cinderella, but she was polite. She did her no social violence.”

“This time of year is depressing. New Year’s Eve is a bigger thug than any mugger, the way it makes people feel.”

(About her colleague and bête noire, Olive): “I marvelled at her mother’s prescience in having named her daughter after a green – with envy – cocktail garnish: hollow and bitter.” Ouch!

(About her other bête noire, Julia): “She had a beautiful smile, if you like people who have thousands of teeth and no evident capacity ever to be sad.” Double ouch!

As well as the story of Lillian’s life, the book is a love letter to New York (“Any day you walk down a street and find nothing new but nothing missing counts as a good day in a city you love. People are forever tearing something down, replacing something irreplaceable”) and a celebration of walking and the art of flanerie (“Typically neither closeness nor distance matter much to me on my walks. Neither convenience nor difficulty is my objective”).

Another theme seems to be how bigotry and prejudice can cause people to miss out on potentially fulfilling relationships.
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