With the verve and bite of Ottessa Moshfegh and the barbed charm of Nancy Mitford, Marlowe Granados's stunning début brilliantly captures a summer of striving in New York City
Refreshing and wry in equal measure, Happy Hour is an intoxicating novel of youth well spent. Isa Epley is all of twenty-one years old, and already wise enough to understand that the purpose of life is the pursuit of pleasure. She arrives in New York City for a summer of adventure with her best friend, one newly blond Gala Novak. They have little money, but that's hardly going to stop them from having a good time.
In her diary, Isa describes a sweltering summer in the glittering city. By day, the girls sell clothes in a market stall, pinching pennies for their Bed-Stuy sublet and bodega lunches. By night, they weave from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side to the Hamptons among a rotating cast of celebrities, artists, Internet entrepreneurs, stuffy intellectuals, and bad-mannered grifters. Resources run ever tighter and the strain tests their friendship as they try to convert their social capital into something more lasting than precarious gigs as au pairs, nightclub hostesses, paid audience members, and aspiring foot fetish models. Through it all, Isa's bold, beguiling voice captures the precise thrill of cultivating a life of glamour and intrigue as she juggles paying her dues with skipping out on the bill.
Happy Hour is a novel about getting by and looking great in a system that wants you to do neither.
A dreamy account of one heady summer, Marlowe Granados's début is a dispatch from another land; not only New York City, but youth itself. Happy Hour is aptly titled--it's an intoxicating book, at once heartbreaking and joyful. --Rumaan Alam, author of Leave the World Behind
Happy Hour is filled with charm, memorable insight, and witty aperçus, adding up to the realization that life, while unfair, is antic enough to be worth all the trouble. --A. S. Hamrah, author of The Earth Dies Streaming
About our Speakers
Marlowe Granados is a writer and filmmaker. She co-hosts The Mean Reds, a podcast dedicated to women-led films, and her advice column, Designs for Living, appears in The Baffler. Granados currently resides in Toronto. Happy Hour is her debut novel.
Sandi Tan was born in Singapore. She directed the Netflix film Shirkers, which won a Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival, was named Best Documentary by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and was shortlisted for the Oscar for Best Documentary. The Black Isle was her debut novel. She's lived in Los Angeles for 20 years but everyone still thinks she lives in New York.
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