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Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

by Kathleen Rooney


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   Not today
In my reckless and undiscouraged youth, I worked in a walnut-panelled office thirteen floors above West 35th Street.

When 85-year-old Lillian Boxfish steps out of her apartment on New Year's Eve in 1984, little does she know she's about to embark on a journey across the whole of Manhattan.

But Lillian is no ordinary 85-year-old. On her arrival to New York in the 1930s she took the city by storm, working her way up from writing copy for Macy's department store to become the highest paid advertising woman in the world. Now, alone on New Year's Eve, her usual holiday ritual in ruins, Lillian decides to take a walk. After all, it might be her last chance. Armed with only her mink coat and quick-witted charm, Lillian walks, and begins to reveal the story of her remarkable life. The trouble is, once she starts walking she finds she can't stop.

On a walk that takes her over 10 miles around the city, Lillian meets bartenders, shopkeepers, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be, while recalling a life of excitement and adversity, passion and heartbreak, illuminating all the ways she and New York have changed - and endured.

'Charming...like taking a street-level tour through six decades of New York' New York Times

'Extraordinary . . . Rooney creates a glorious paean to a distant literary life and time.' Publishers Weekly

'Easily the best gadding-around-town novel since Dawn Powell and Dorothy Parker' Daniel Handler, author of A Series of Unfortunate Events

Publication Details

Daunt Books
Publication Date:


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Kathleen Rooney (Author)

Kathleen Rooney is the author of several books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, and her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Nation, and the Chicago Tribune. She works as a senior lecturer in English and Creative Writing in Chi...

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Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
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