Vintage Contemporaries (MP3 CD)

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Vintage Contemporaries By Dan Kois, Eileen Stevens (Read by) Cover Image
By Dan Kois, Eileen Stevens (Read by)
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Staff Reviews

After moving from Wisconsin to New York, Emily takes a job as an assistant in a literary agency and finds herself in two transformative friendships, with an older, overlooked writer (Lucy) and a hyper-charged wannabe theater director (also named Emily). The first thing local readers need to know is that this author and Slate editor was once a bookseller in Milwaukee - that semi-familiar minor character’s name is not an accident, and yes, at one point, lunch on a family trip back home is served at the legendary Coffee Trader. The other thing to keep in mind is that this book is packed with inside-publishing ephemera that shouldn’t irritate casual readers but make the story extra fun if you’ve been there, including homages to beloved authors (Lucy is a take on one of my favorite writers) and cover designers (an alternate universe take on the famed VC designer Lorraine Louie) and lots of only-in-New-York detail, like a deep dive into the Lower East Side squatter wars. But that’s still all icing - the cake is a moving story about friendship, purpose, and finding yourself.

— Daniel Goldin

Dan Kois in virtual conversation with Jami Attenberg, Thursday, January 19, 6 pm. Cohosted by Flyleaf Books of Chapel Hill. Click here to register.


"Vintage Contemporaries is about being young and becoming less young, exploring friendship (sometimes magical, sometimes messy), parenthood (ditto), and how to reconcile youthful ambition and ideals with real life. It's a warm and big-hearted coming of age story that made me wistful for my own twenties, set in a vividly rendered and long-vanished New York City."--Rumaan Alam, New York Times bestselling author of Leave the World Behind

Slate editor Dan Kois makes his fiction debut with this stunning coming-of-age novel set in New York City, about the joys of unexpected life-altering friendships, the power of finding ourselves in the moment, and the importance of forgiving ourselves when we inevitably mess everything up.

It's 1991. Em moved to New York City for excitement and possibility, but the big city isn't quite what she thought it would be. Working as a literary agent's assistant, she's down to her last nineteen dollars but has made two close friends: Emily, a firebrand theater director living in a Lower East Side squat, and Lucy, a middle-aged novelist and single mom. Em's life revolves around these two wildly different women and their vividly disparate yet equally assured views of art and the world. But who is Em, and what does she want to become?

It's 2004. Em is now Emily, a successful book editor, happily married and barely coping with the challenges of a new baby. And suddenly Lucy and Emily return to her life: Her old friend Lucy's posthumous book needs a publisher, and her ex-friend Emily wants to rekindle their relationship. As they did once before, these two women--one dead, one very alive--force Emily to reckon with her decisions, her failures, and what kind of creative life she wants to lead.

A sharp, reflective, and funny story of a young woman coming into herself and struggling to find her place, Vintage Contemporaries is a novel about art, parenthood, loyalty, and fighting for a cause--the times we do the right thing, and the times we fail--set in New York City on both sides of the millennium.

Product Details
ISBN: 9798212202350
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: January 17th, 2023
Language: English