"With the next generation of New York writers decamped to lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, and even Queens, it’s almost nostalgic to read about the foibles of characters coping with life on the Upper West and East Sides. It’s particularly nostalgic for me, and not just because I spent a lot of time in those neighborhoods when I was younger, but also because Marian Thurm was one of my favorite short story writers of the 1980s, and reading her stories was like meeting up with an old friend. At this point, Thurmites are dealing with divorce and death, like the widow who questions when she and her boyfriend show up to Dad’s funeral in Crocs, but could t her grudge really be that her daughter has never finished reading the book she wrote many years ago? In another tale, teenage girls who’ve perfected acting act work the last nerve of their aunt, only she’s not thrilled when their birth mom is discovered at Roy Rogers, on the road to straightening herself out. Note that a story partly set at Roy Rogers has me suspecting these stories aren’t all freshly minted. Think Laurie Colwin, Cathleen Schine, or the contemporary work of Alice Mattison, not the older Brooklyn immigrant tales. And now that I know that they exist, I’m off to hunt down the two novels she wrote under the pseudonym Lucy Jackson."— Daniel Goldin
With her fourth collection, acclaimed short story writer Marian Thurm brings her darkly comic sense of humor to a memorable set of new characters-every one of whom is brought to vivid life under her sharply observant but always compassionate gaze. A divorcee is hit on by her philandering ex whose new wife is stricken with cancer. An untimely shattered knee complicates a man's decision to dump his fiancee. A grieving widow is burdened by her daughter's relationship troubles. A teenaged cancer survivor convinces her friends to go on a quest in search of her older crush. A Jewish man is shocked by his Catholic girlfriend's reaction to visiting Auschwitz. Today is Not Your Day is Thurm at her best, capturing those breathtaking moments where life upends but also becomes painfully clear.