Tales From a Dangling Girl
"A sharp, delicious, bright-girl-comes-to-New-York memoir. Forty-one-year-old Alison Rose was a bright and beautiful single woman, feeling lost in mid-1980s New York City: "I couldn't afford one more round of my famous bad judgment, which was, according to my own records at that point, eternal." Then she landed a job at The New Yorker. "Some of the best things anyone's every said to me were said in, or in the doorway of, my cubicle at School, which was The New Yorker Magazine," writes Rose. She was taken up by the writers there, "a tribe of gods" who turned her from a semi-recluse into a full-fledged writer. These kindred souls formed an impromptu club: Insane Anonymous (a "whole other world that was better than sane"). Rose was unlike anyone in the group. Fellow staff writer Renata Adler said of Rose's path, "It was the most nuanced, courageous, utterly crazy way to have wended." In Better Than Sane, Rose takes us from her California childhood to her years at The New Yorker, revealing how, often, she "didn't care enough about existence to keep it going" and preferred to stay in her room with her animals and think. She writes about growing up on the West Coast, daughter of a movie-star-handsome psychiatrist who was charming to friends but a bully and a tyrant to his family; moving to Manhattan in her twenties, sleeping in Central Park, subsisting on Valium, Eskatrol, and Sara Lee orange cake; moving to Los Angeles, attending the Actors Studio, befriending celebrities and living with some larger than life personalities; and, finally, returning to New York and finding work at the New Yorker. After she'd written an article, Rose would sit on a park bench with a coffee, savoring the moment: "What I had done, by myself. That's what I liked." Better Than Sane is the true story of how-despite her endless ability to sabotage herself-one brilliant and mordantly funny woman found herself"-- Provided by publisher.
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