The times.

Yesterday Kate and Brendan and I went to the Sistine Chapel. To get there, you have to walk through the Vatican Museum for about a mile, through all these hallways filled with art. It was amazing. Amazing. I couldn’t even bring myself to take pictures. There was no one thing to capture. It was either all or nothing. So it will soar in my head forever instead. I think I can remember it. I will try to remember it.

There was this one thing that sticks out. In the Sistine Chapel, there was a golden yellow paint glowing behind Jesus. And on the right hand side, there was hell. And it was red. And everything else was blue, blue sky everywhere. And all I could focus on after a while were those light bursts of color. It became difficult to take it all in, the horror of all those people falling to the ground, so I just looked for color instead. So I will think about the colors forever whenever I try to remember yesterday.

I left Kate and Brendan and headed to Termini to meet Stefan, who was coming in from Bologna, where he had spent the night with some friends. Stefan was at a fancy residency the last six weeks, so he had some stories to share. We came back to the apartment and drank wine and enjoyed the sunshine. (The weather has been perfect here, by the way. Sunny and seventy.)

Later we met up with Kate and Brendan in Pigneto. We drank and ate, ate and drank. We talked and talked. We drank. We stumbled down the street, and found some weird little divey warehouse bar thing. We had to pay five euros to get a membership card, but the guy at the door gave us drink tickets because I am extremely adorable. There was a bad euro pop DJ who sang along every so often to the songs in a Not Good voice and everyone looked like a drug dealer and we danced like we were insane to this terrible music. And everyone thought I was Italian. (Everyone here thinks I am Italian. Italians stop me on the street and ask me for directions. I must have a generally authoritative cast to my face. I am always trying to be so tough.)

Then we bought some wine from a restaurant and went back to the apartment and drank more wine and played records and talked and talked. I love my friends. I love Rome.

And now all I want to do is listen to Bob Dylan. That’s pretty much what Stefan and I have been doing all day. We walked to the market and bought eggs and cheese and bread and vegetables and then we came home and I made us breakfast and now we are listening to Bob Dylan. Hours of it. Sunning ourselves on the terrace. It is so epic.

God bless Bob Dylan.


Out now!

Kirkus Reviews gives it a starred review: "A sharp-tongued, sweet-natured masterpiece of Jewish family life." Find more praise from The New York Times, Fresh Air, All Things Considered, The Washington Post and more, right here. Order an autographed copy.
Download book club discussion questions.

And in paperback:

The Melting Season. Watch the trailer, or see coverage from Chicago Tribune, Marie Claire, O, New York Times, and more here. Buy an autographed copy from my favorite local independent bookstore, WORD Brooklyn!

The Kept Man. Watch the trailer, and read reviews from People, Time Out New York, Interview and more right here

Instant Love. Read coverage from O, New York, Daily Candy, and more here.

I am happy to come visit your book club in person or via phone or skype! Email me directly for more info.


flickr, twitter, tumblr , rss

The New York Times
NYTBR: All that We Hold Dear
NYT Mag: The Unlikely Chef
No, I'm the Narrator
A Shelf-Obsessed Writer
One Dark Night in My Neighborhood
An Apartment Affair
Life Lessons from Turning 40

The Hairpin
My History of Being Fat

Wall Street Journal
Fictional Foods: No Empty Calories
My Election Day

The Forward
A Chat with My Dad about Delicatessen

The Week
My 6 Favorite Books with Overweight Protagonists

Publishers Weekly
The Most Dysfunctional Families in Literature

Largehearted Boy
Book Notes: The Middlesteins
On the Men We Meet, and What Their Music Means to Us
Antiheroines: MK Reed
Antiheroines: Lisa Hanawalt
Antiheroines: Ellen Forney
Antiheroines: Emily Flake
Antiheroines: Vanessa Davis
Antiheroines: Julia Wertz
Antiheroines: Gabrielle Bell
Antiheroines: Sarah Glidden
Book Notes: The Kept Man
Ryan from Hallelujah the Hills Interviews Me
I Interview Ryan from Hallelujah the Hills
Book Notes: Instant Love

Jewish Book Council
Different, but Special

The Rumpus
Where I've Laid My Head
How To Write a Book in Two Months: The Rumpus Interview with Cole Stryker
The Fates Will Find Their Way Review
The Rumpus Interview with David Goodwillie and Teddy Wayne
The Rumpus Interview with Kate Christensen
The Last Book I Loved: Everything Matters!

Hit me with your vest shot
How I helped rescue the OWS library
Books you can dance to
Tracy Morgan cries for his mom -- and we cry, too

Poets & Writers
How to Use Tumblr to Connect with Readers (print only)

Lauren Groff Profile
Pizza Island Profile
The Rise of Small Presses
Wesley Stace Profile

Patrick Somerville Interview
Lauren Groff Interview
Nathan Englander Interview
Ellis Avery Interview
Elissa Schappell Interview
Kate Christensen Interview
Heather Havrilesky Interview
Julie Klam Interview
Jennifer Egan Interview
Maile Meloy Interview
Martha McPhee Interview

Village Voice
The 10 Best Things From 2011 To Listen To While Writing, According To Actual Authors

The Millions
A Year in Reading

How to Hunt for Architectural Salvage with the Designers of Spritzenhaus
Peter Loughrey Interview

No Baby Next Door, Please

Essay: Crossroads

The Awl
Flicked Off: In Which Two Ladies Do Yoga Then See 'Eat Pray Love'

Book Forum
Reality Hunger Review

Five Chapters
The Last Movie

Double X
Schrödinger's Cake

find more freelance work

join my mailing list.


The One Time I Needed Planned Parenthood
Big Book News #4
The Complete Story of How My Bike Got Stolen, How I Found it on Craigslist, and How I Got it Back
Mountain Backdrop: White Sands Missile Park
Big Book News #3
On Outlining Books
Advance Praise for The Kept Man
Shaving Jonny
The Big Book News #2
Artsy and Fartsy go to Coney Island
Blurry Pictures of Girls with Mustaches
Key Names from Instant Love
How Did I Miss the Hook?
Two Days in May
The Big Book News
Idiotarod 2005
Kiss Me on the Bus
Ronald Protests the RNC
Existential Crap
Happy Hour
Taco Hell
Idiotarod 2004: Race, Rest, Finish
Behave, Boys. Behave
26 Pics of People Kissing
All About George
September 11, 2001
My Imaginary Assistant Amanda

read more of my journal

search my shit.