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Break in Case of Emergency

by Jessica Winter

Debut Books of the Month eBooks of the Month Family Drama Modern and Classic Literary Fiction Relationship Stories

LoveReading View on Break in Case of Emergency

August 2016 Debut of the Month.

A wryly amusing, observational story, brushing compassionately against the pitfalls of modern life. Jen is in her early 30’s, she lives with her husband in New York, she dreams of painting, of having a baby, yet finds herself trapped in a ghastly job, confined by the barriers in her own mind. I initially felt a little thrown, a little uncertain, yet as I gradually became a part of Jen’s life, I became completely absorbed by her story. Jessica Winter has the ability to point out the obvious in an originally witty style, she made me look in new directions, focus on new thoughts. I raised an eyebrow or two at Jen’s choices, yet as she floundered, I wanted to hug, to help, and I cheered her on. I recommend taking your time as you explore ‘Break in Case of Emergency’, it’s shrewdly clever, and pierces illusions with beautiful barbed intensity. ~ Liz Robinson

Liz Robinson

Break in Case of Emergency Synopsis

'Extremely funny - a satirical masterpiece that is tender and existentially-minded as well. I loved it!' Elizabeth McKenzie, author of THE PORTABLE VEBLEN An irreverent and deeply moving comedy set in New York about friendship, fertility, and fighting for one's sanity in a toxic workplace. Jen has reached her early thirties and has all but abandoned a once-promising painting career when, spurred by the economic crisis, she takes a poorly defined job at a feminist nonprofit. The foundation's aim is to empower women, but staffers spend all their time devising acronyms for imaginary programs, ruthlessly undermining one another, and stroking the ego of their boss, the larger-than-life celebrity philanthropist Leora Infinitas. Jen's complicity in this passive-aggressive hellscape only intensifies her feelings of inferiority compared to her two best friends - one a wealthy attorney with a picture-perfect family, the other a passionately committed artist - and so does Jen's apparent inability to have a baby, a source of existential panic that begins to affect her marriage and her already precarious status at the office. Jessica Winter's ferociously intelligent debut novel is a wry satire that explores the difficulty of navigating friendships as they shift to accommodate marriage and family, and the unspoken tensions that can strain even the strongest bonds.

Break in Case of Emergency Press Reviews

'Extremely funny - a satirical masterpiece that is tender and existentially-minded as well. I loved it!'
Elizabeth McKenzie, author of THE PORTABLE VEBLEN

'In this cutting commentary on workplace toxicity and how its tendrils can strangle relationships, Winter uses humour to illuminate the state of modern work, family, and friendship. She does a stellar job'
Elle

'If you need a New York map of our times, have Jessica Winter become your cartographer. Sassy, sarcastic and sleek, this is a wonderfully brash appraisal of how we live'
National Book Award winner Colum McCann

'Winter's book stands out, though, by making the stakes of Jen's struggle to emerge triumphant from her stint at Lift so viscerally high...whether Jen can Have It All, and whether or not that would even constitute a happy ending - is a more nuanced problem, and Winter's treatment of it elevates this book from an exercise in technical proficiency to something more bitter and toothy, something more like art'
Bookforum

'Jessica Winter nails the moment in your life when you go from young to no longer young - that see-saw teetering point between your 20s and 30s, and its specific mix of ignorance you'll be embarrassed by later, and confidence you'll someday wish you could have back. If you're wondering what it's like to live in New York when you're young, just buy Jessica Winter's book. It's funny, satirical, and deftly written. And it's much cheaper than a 2-bedroom in Brooklyn'
Mike Schur, co-creator of Parks and Recreation

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780008132132
Publication date: 15/06/2017
Publisher: The Borough Press an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780008132118
Publication date: 28/07/2016
Publisher: The Borough Press an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780008132118
Publication date: 28th July 2016
Author: Jessica Winter
Publisher: The Borough Press an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback
Genres: Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Relationship Stories,
Categories:

About Jessica Winter

Jessica Winter is features editor at Slate and the former culture editor of Time. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, Bookforum, The Believer, and many other publications. She lives in Brooklyn.

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