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"Hysterically droll, touching, elegant, and wise--a coming-of-age story from someone who possibly came of age before her parents" (Patricia Marx, New Yorker writer and bestselling author), Trying to Float is a seventeen-year-old's darkly funny, warmhearted memoir about growing up in New York City's legendary Chelsea Hotel.

Meet the family Rips: father Michael, a lawyer turned writer with a penchant for fine tailoring; mother Sheila, a former model and renowned sculptor who matches her welding outfits with couture; and daughter Nicolaia, a precocious and wry high school student at work on a highly unusual extracurricular activity, an official record of her peculiar childhood.

Nicolaia is a perpetual outsider who has struggled to find her place in schools populated by cliquish girls and loudmouthed boys. But at the Chelsea, Nicolaia she has found her tribe. There's her neighbor Storme, a tall albino woman who keeps a pink handgun strapped to her ankle; her babysitter, Jade, who may or may not have a second career as an escort; her friend Artie, former proprietor of New York's most famous nightclubs. The kids at school might never understand her, but as Nicolaia endeavors to fit in, she realizes that the Chelsea's motley crew could hold the key to surviving the perils of her adolescence.

"Nicolaia Rips is an old-soul sophisticate. Trying to Float is like Eloise meets Wes Anderson" (Elle), and not since Holden Caulfield has there been such a fabulously compelling teen guide to New York City. Rips's debut is "charmingly self-deprecating and very funny...at once highly insightful and deeply familiar" (W Magazine), a triumphant parable for the power of embracing difference in all its forms. Her "engaging story with a big heart...will appeal to adults and teens alike" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).

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Reviews

These little tales about little rascals in New York City are charming, strange, and inspiring. What a very funny, improbably truthful book about childhood this is. --Joseph O Neill, author of Netherland and The Dog" "These little tales about little rascals in New York City are charming, strange, and inspiring. What a very funny, improbably truthful book about childhood this is." --Joseph O'Neill, author of Netherland and The Dog -These little tales about little rascals in New York City are charming, strange, and inspiring. What a very funny, improbably truthful book about childhood this is.- --Joseph O'Neill, author of Netherland and The Dog -I love this book! Nicolaia Rips, while young, is the real thing. Wodehouse reborn in a young girl. He would have been charmed.- --Joel Grey, author of Master of Ceremonies -As a former resident of the Chelsea Hotel, I came at this book with trepidation. What could an 17-year-old have to say about the last Dionysian castle in New York City? My skepticism ended with the prologue. Nicolaia Rips writes with wit, discipline, and grace. Her voice is real. With this book she is announcing herself as a force in the next generation of artists.- --Ethan Hawke -Trying to Float is hysterically droll, touching, elegant, and wise-- a coming-of-age story from someone who possibly came of age before her parents. No doubt, people will allude to other books in attempts to describe this one (Holden Caulfield if he went to public school, Eloise without room service) but truly Nicolaia's chronicle is sui generis. I had such a good time reading it that the person I share an apartment with told me to stop saying, -You can't believe how extraordinary this is!- because he was trying to concentrate on something else and anyway, he believed me the first time.- --Patricia Marx -New Yorker staff writer and author of Let's Be Less Stupid and Him Her Him Again The End of Hi - "I love this book! Nicolaia Rips, while young, is the real thing. Wodehouse reborn in a young girl. He would have been charmed." --Joel Grey, author of Master of Ceremonies "Trying to Float is hysterically droll, touching, elegant, and wise-- a coming-of-age story from someone who possibly came of age before her parents. No doubt, people will allude to other books in attempts to describe this one (Holden Caulfield if he went to public school, Eloise without room service) but truly Nicolaia's chronicle is sui generis. I had such a good time reading it that the person I share an apartment with told me to stop saying, "You can't believe how extraordinary this is!" because he was trying to concentrate on something else and anyway, he believed me the first time." --Patricia Marx "New Yorker staff writer and author of Let's Be Less Stupid and Him Her Him Again The End of Hi " I love this book! Nicolaia Rips, while young, is the real thing. Wodehouse reborn in a young girl. He would have been charmed. --Joel Grey, author of Master of Ceremonies" "As a former resident of the Chelsea Hotel, I came at this book with trepidation. What could an 17-year-old have to say about the last Dionysian castle in New York City? My skepticism ended with the prologue. Nicolaia Rips writes with wit, discipline, and grace. Her voice is real. With this book she is announcing herself as a force in the next generation of artists." --Ethan Hawke Trying to Float is hysterically droll, touching, elegant, and wise a coming-of-age story from someone who possibly came of age before her parents. No doubt, people will allude to other books in attempts to describe this one (Holden Caulfield if he went to public school, Eloise without room service) but truly Nicolaia s chronicle is sui generis. I had such a good time reading it that the person I share an apartment with told me to stop saying, You can t believe how extraordinary this is! because he was trying to concentrate on something else and anyway, he believed me the first time." --Patricia Marx "New Yorker staff writer and author of Let s Be Less Stupid and Him Her Him Again The End of Hi ""

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