Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk

Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk

Large Print - 2017 | Large print edition
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Inspired by Margaret Fishback, poet and Macy's ad-writing phenom of the 1930s, Rooney imagines an extraordinary walk through the streets of New York City on the last night of 1984, one that triggers a flood of memories for fictional ad woman Lillian Boxfish. The octogenarian muses on the changing urban landscape as she stops at favorite haunts: an intimate neighborhood bar that's just installed a TV, a restaurant where she's dined every New Year's Eve that's about to change owners, the famed Delmonico's, where she ended her marriage. Further stops include a changing lower Manhattan landscape where she meets a haunted Vietnam veteran and engages him in a "best last-line contest," a detour to a hospital emergency room with a frightened woman about to have her first baby, and a party where she's both scorned and adored by a new generation of artists, followed by a hilarious encounter with three muggers. Meanwhile, Lillian carefully recounts her celebrated career in advertising, her adored husband and son, and her emotional breakdown. Elegantly written, Rooney creates a glorious paean to a distant literary life and time-and an unabashed celebration of human connections that bridge the past and future.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, 2017
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 1410499669 (lg. print / hardcover)
9781410499660 (lg. print / hardcover)
Branch Call Number: LP FIC ROONEY
Characteristics: large print,rda
437 pages (large print) : map ; 23 cm


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Nov 08, 2017

Borrowed this book for my wife. She loved it. One day, I'll read it too. I expect I will also love it.

samdog123 Oct 31, 2017

Lillian is the most wonderful female character that I've encountered in quite some time. Lillian, now 84, reminisces about her life during a long walk through New York city on New Year's eve, 1984. Born just before the turn of 1900, , she was the top female advertising woman for Macy's, quite a feat in those days. I love Lillian's spirit, intelligence, and her understanding of herself-where she's been and how far she's come. I treasure that I got to know her while I read the book and won't soon forget her.

Oct 02, 2017

A well-written and very enjoyable book. Lillian takes the reader on a long walk through the streets of New York City on New Year's eve (1984). As she walks, she shares the humour, happiness and some of the sadness of her life as a career "girl" in the 1930s, a published poet, someone who fell unexpectedly but totally in love (love at first sight) twice in her life (with the man who became her husband (who would have thought one could be hit by lightening while indoors), and with her new born son) -- the husband didn't last, but the son did -- and someone who feels that New York City is still her home (at the age of 84). But just a warning, some of the low points in her long life were very low indeed.

Aug 25, 2017

Octogenarian Lillian takes a walk in NYC on New Year’s Eve 1984. Ode to a city, ode to a well-lived life, ode to humor, pep, fun and laughter. Loved it.

Jul 10, 2017

Good to hear the story of the pioneer women in advertising. A lovely romp, intelligent writing inspired by a gifted copywriter. Glad I found this book.

May 30, 2017

I truly loved this story. Lillian opens herself up to the world and doesn't seem to care what you think. She is what she is and it's a wonderful blend of complex opinions and feelings. Lillian's voice reminded me of a grandmother or elderly friend who simply hoped to entertain your attention and share their perspective. While set in the 1980s, I felt many of Lillian's observations about people and finding the humor in the absurd were still great lessons for today.

ehbooklover May 08, 2017

4.5 stars. Within 15 pages of this book, I was already in love with Lillian Boxfish. I just loved traveling through 1980s New York City alongside this unique, complicated, spunky, and absolutely wonderful character while she reminisced about her life and experiences. And I was delighted to learn that Lillian is actually based on a real woman! An enchanting and captivating read.

Apr 17, 2017

I am in the middle re: this book. While there is some terrific writing, the story goes on far too long. It is hard to develop empathy with the main character as her quirky personality seems at times lovable and at other times simple unbelievable.

I think the structure of the walk as a device to hold this story together does not entirely work. It becomes an academic device that has to be held onto for the sake of form.

Cynthia_N Apr 08, 2017

I would love to meet Lillian Boxfish! I really enjoyed her look back on her life and her attitude towards all she has been through. I know wearing fur is bad but I loved her attitude when she decided to start wearing her mink coat often!! A slow, gentle read. Well, except for that one part.

Mar 29, 2017

Not worth reading as a book; worth reading for the prose Rooney writes, some of which is quite good. Lilian is 85 years old in 1985, so she’d be 117 years old today, and yet Rooney writes the character as if she’s a 35-year-old from 2017. Events of the past provide the setting of the book, but it’s a work of time-travel, sending an ultra-modern woman of today and projecting her into the past. It doesn't work.

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