Katherine Heiny's fiction has been published in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Narrative, Glimmer Train, and many other places. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and children. This is her first book.
Tender and comic, with a devilishly addictive wry tone and incredibly drawn characters, reading Katherine Heiny's Early Morning Riser is akin to being transported to the beating heart of an eccentric, entirely relatable small-town community. It really does make for a headily blissful reading experience, as befits a story that delves deep into the heart of all forms of love and human connections. Despite having had a whole lot of girlfriends who are everywhere around town (and beyond), Jane can’t help but fall for charismatic woodworker Duncan, though she’s less happy about the constant presence of his ex-wife, and it look like their love might be lost when he says he has no intention of getting married a second time. Then, a tragic accident sees them reunite in a way that will transform their lives forever, when they’re brought together with Jimmy, Duncan’s developmentally-challenged employee, in a truly unexpected, wondrous way. Witty, with exquisitely fitting, perfectly-placed imagery, such as this evocation of Jane snatching a moment of peace on the fraught eve of her ill-fated wedding day, “The sky was lavender-colored now. The sun had set, but the light lingered, like a child reluctant to go to bed”, Early Morning Riser is a magical, absorbing feat of fiction, and incredibly funny with it.
Displaying a light deftness of touch while highlighting a contorted darkness, these eleven short stories emphasise the more twisted and melancholy side of relationships. Plaintive hearts and minds, often shying away from reality, appear to be continuously searching for that illusive creature happiness. The author has the ability to describe both commitment and deception, with wit, compassion and consideration. Three of the stories contain the same characters, an interesting variation to the other tales that adds a little pop of anticipation as their lives unfold. The title is misleading, however ironic it may feel once you start to read these stories, it also feels strangely sincere.
'Gorgeous. Very, very funny in a knowing wry way but so tender, so beautiful. I loved all the characters.' Marian Keyes 'Warm, witty, touching - and frequently hilarious' David Nicholls, author of Sweet Sorrow 'You put the book down and feel glad to be alive' India Knight, Sunday Times Jane easily falls in love with Duncan: he's charming, good-natured, and handsome. He has also slept with nearly every woman in Boyne City, Michigan. Jane sees Duncan's old girlfriends everywhere - at restaurants, at the grocery store, even three towns away. While she may be able to come to terms with dating the world's most prolific seducer of women, she wishes she didn't have to share him quite so widely. His ex-wife, Aggie, still has Duncan mow her lawn. And his coworker Jimmy comes and goes from Duncan's apartment at the most inopportune times. Jane wonders how the relationship is supposed to work with all these people in it. But any notion Jane has of love and marriage changes with one tragic accident. Now her life is permanently intertwined with Duncan's, Aggie's, and Jimmy's, and she knows she will never have Duncan to herself. But is it possible that a deeper kind of happiness is right in front of her eyes? A novel that is alternately bittersweet and laugh-out-loud funny, Early Morning Riser is Katherine Heiny's most astonishingly wonderful work to date.
'I have rarely seen modern marriage reproduced so faithfully in print. It's about love once the early romance has subsided. Hilarious' Jojo Moyes, Woman and Home 'Standard Deviation is a marvel' Kate Atkinson 'Addictive reading' Mail on Sunday 'A comic masterpiece' Observer Graham's second wife, Audra, is an unrestrained force of good nature. She talks non-stop through her epidural, labour and delivery, invites the doorman to move in and the eccentric members of their son's Origami Club to Thanksgiving. When she decides to make friends with Elsbeth - Graham's first wife and Audra's polar opposite - Graham starts to wonder: how can anyone love two such different women? And did he make the right choice?
The wonderful story collection from the author of Standard Deviation'Heiny's work does something magical: gives women's interior lives the gravity they so richly deserve and makes you laugh along the way' Lena Dunham'Like Cheever mixed with Ephron' New York Times'Simply wonderful, I savoured every page' GuardianMaya's dog is dying, and she is planning to leave her boyfriend. On the whole she feels worse about the dog.Nina thought it might be difficult to summon the moral fortitude to have an extramarital affair with a Presbyterian minister living above the garbage, but she discovers that almost anything is possible.A teenager finds an affair with her history teacher too sealed off from the rest of her life, like the last slice of cake under a glass dome.These women are best friends, roommates and mistresses. They tipple and titillate, fantasize and fumble, worry and wander. They make poor choices in men and children's magicians and wise choices in what to wear to meet their lovers' wives. None of them are single (or carefree or mellow) but all are irresistible and all too familiar.