Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk (Large Print / Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


This glorious novel (loosely based on a true person) takes place on New Year's Eve 1984, when the fiery and ever curious Lillian walks the length of Manhattan on the eve of her 85th or 86th birthday. She tends to lie about being born in 1899 and prefers a birth date of 1900. As she strides out this night, she encounters memories of her days as a highly paid ad executive at R.H. Macy's in the 1930s, a beloved job she had to leave when she became pregnant in 1942. She attends an artsy New Year's Eve party and, along the way, is confronted by muggers (with whom she strikes a bargain); comforts a nightwatchmen; and soothes a worried young bodega clerks. There is a new adventure and a heartfelt reminiscence at every turn. Rooney weaves the tale of her life with great candor and humor, and I loved being along for the stroll.

— Bobby

This glorious novel (loosely based on a true person) takes place on New Year's Eve 1984, when the fiery and ever curious Lillian walks the length of Manhattan on the eve of her 85th or 86th birthday. She tends to lie about being born in 1899 and prefers a birth date of 1900. As she strides out this night, she encounters memories of her days as a highly paid ad executive at R.H. Macy's in the 1930s, a beloved job she had to leave when she became pregnant in 1942. She attends an artsy New Year's Eve party and, along the way, is confronted by muggers (with whom she strikes a bargain); comforts a nightwatchmen; and soothes a worried young bodega clerks. There is a new adventure and a heartfelt reminiscence at every turn. Rooney weaves the tale of her life with great candor and humor, and I loved being along for the stroll.

— Bobby

February 2017 Indie Next List


“Join 85-year-old Lillian on a New Year's Eve stroll through Manhattan, a city as changed by time as Lillian herself. As with Joyce's Ulysses, the reader is privy to a life told in snapshots of memory within a single day. Based loosely on the life of Margaret Fishback, Lillian is a former Depression-era advertising copywriter for R.H. Macy's and a poet of light verse. She is also a mother and an ex-wife. Rooney's work has a light touch, but she is never frivolous. Rooney has the capacity to portray depth within brevity, pain within humor. Here is a novel that both entertains and enlightens, a balance rarely achieved.”
— Sarah Sorensen (E), Bookbug, Kalamazoo, MI

About the Author


KATHLEEN ROONEY is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press and a founding member of Poems While You Wait. She has been recognized as one of Newcity Lit's "Lit 50: Who Really Books in Chicago 2016." Her precious work includes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, and has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Allure, Salon, The Rumpus, The Nation, the New York Times Book Review, the Poetry Foundation website, and the Chicago Tribune. Kathleen was named "Best Novelist" by the Chicago Reader in 2017. She is married to the novelist Martin Seay.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781432847661
ISBN-10: 143284766X
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Large Print Press
Publication Date: April 3rd, 2018
Pages: 434
Language: English