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Melissa Bank is the New York Times bestselling author of The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing and The Wonder Spot. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Cosmopolitan, and Zoetrope, among other publications, and has been heard on National Public Radio and featured at Symphony Space in New York City. Bank holds an MFA from Cornell University and is the winner of a Nelson Algren Award for short fiction. She divides her time between New York City and East Hampton.
After Bridget Jones, expect lots on being single. This one by a Nelson Algren Award winner features reluctant career girl Jane, who's reading the wrong selfhelp guide to getting married.
Banks's debut short story collection about the mixed-up dating life of Jane Rosenal was a hit on the beach-reading circuit this summer. Hearing the author's conviction while she reads her work proves why: there is an uncanny likeness between the writer and her feisty-but-neurotic heroine. Banks plays up this mood by narrating in a quiet, seductive voiceÄone that nonetheless manages to convey a sense of sustained desperation. The episodes move chronologically, starting with Jane's girl's-eye view of her older brother, Henry, in bumbling action as he dates an older, more sophisticated woman. At age 16, Jane moves in with a great-aunt in her Manhattan apartment, then sees the world through her host's jaded eyes. Later, as a lowly assistant in publishing, she is seduced by an older editor, a super-macho alcoholic who suffers impotence. Banks's gifts of distanced objectivityÄas author and readerÄdovetail here with stylish panache. Based on the 1999 Viking hardcover. (Aug.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
"Charming and funny."--The New York Times "As hilarious as Girls' Guide is, there's a wise, serious core here." --The Wall Street Journal "A sexy, pour-your-heart-out, champagne tingle of a read--thoughtful, wise, and tell-all honest. Bank's is a voice that you'll remember for years to come." --Cosmopolitan "Believe the hype: Jane's touching (but unsentimental) career and love trials ring true." --Glamour "Bank writes like John Cheever, but funnier." --Los Angeles Times "Melissa Bank accomplishes that hardest of simple things: She shows life as it is--and makes it readable." --The Washington Post Book World "Writing literature that mixes comedy and tragedy in the proper amounts is not an easy task. Only a handful of contemporary writers (Joseph Heller, Ann Tyler, and John Irving come to mind) can do it with any success. Whether dealing with serious issues or mundane, Bank proves that she has what it takes to stand in such august company." --The Denver Post "Crafted by a gifted writer, a descendant from the school of restraint whose grandfather is Hemingway and whose father is the early Raymond Carver. The presiding mother figure is Lily Tomlin." --The News and Observer "Only a few authors have successfully blended the compressed nature of short prose with the novel's greater panorama of character. Melissa Bank brings similar energy and style to her new book." --Chicago Tribune "I read the first chapter and thought, 'Wait, I know this girl.' By the second, I realized she was my friend. She did all the things that good friends do: she made me laugh, she made me weep, and when I closed the book at the end of the day, I knew I'd never forget her." --Ruth Ozeki, New York Times bestselling author of A Tale for the Time Being and My Year of Meats "Courageous and wise, as heartbreaking and laugh-out-loud funny as only the most deeply true fiction can be. Melissa Bank writes with a fine eye, a clean voice, and a generous heart." --Pam Houston, bestselling author of Sight Hound and Cowboys are My Weakness "A compassionate comedy of manners, pitch-perfect . . . Bank's people are fully realized and, just like us, fond, foolish, blind, and wise by turns and in ways both tenderly familiar and refreshingly odd." --Amy Bloom, New York Times bestselling author of Away and Lucky Us