Sunday, February 8, 2015

Fresh Ink: Spotlight on Debut Books of All Kinds
Single, Carefree, Mellow is that rare and wonderful thing: a debut that is superbly accomplished, endlessly entertaining, and laugh-out-loud funny.

Maya is in love with both her boyfriend and her boss. Sadie’s lover calls her as he drives to meet his wife at marriage counseling. Gwen pines for her roommate, a man who will hold her hand but then tells her that her palm is sweaty. And Sasha agrees to have a drink with her married lover’s wife and then immediately regrets it. These are the women of Single, Carefree, Mellow, and in these eleven sublime stories they are grappling with unwelcome houseguests, disastrous birthday parties, needy but loyal friends, and all manner of love, secrets, and betrayal.

In “Cranberry Relish” Josie’s ex—a man she met on Facebook—has a new girlfriend he found on Twitter. In “Blue Heron Bridge” Nina is more worried that the Presbyterian minister living in her garage will hear her kids swearing than about his finding out that she’s sleeping with her running partner. And in “The Rhett Butlers” a teenager loses her virginity to her history teacher and then outgrows him.

In snappy, glittering prose that is both utterly hilarious and achingly poignant, Katherine Heiny chronicles the ways in which we are unfaithful to each other, both willfully and unwittingly. Maya, who appears in the title story and again in various states of love, forms the spine of this linked collection, and shows us through her moments of pleasure, loss, deceit, and kindness just how fickle the human heart can be.

Read an excerpt HERE.

And another HERE.

Praise for the book:
“Katherine Heiny's work does something magical: elevates the mundane so that it has the stakes of a mystery novel, gives women's interior lives the gravity they so richly deserve -- and makes you laugh along the way.” ~Lena Dunham
“Katherine Heiny’s first collection, Single, Carefree, Mellow, is a tour de force about love, deception, friendship, and flirtation. Several stories feature smart, sexy Maya, who in the title story becomes love-struck by her dog’s veterinarian.” ~Elle

“The buzziest book of 2015 would have to be Single, Carefree, Mellow, a saucy short-story collection that took Katherine Heiny more than 22 years to write. . . This whip-smart collection about women wrapped up in all kinds of love affairs will have you laughing out loud.” ~Entertainment Weekly

“Heiny explores sex, relationships and the internal lives of young women in this charmingly candid collection of short stories. The women who populate the pages of Heiny's disarming debut are girlfriends, mistresses and wives. They are best friends, roommates and lovers. They are intelligent but not always ambitious—keenly insightful but sometimes, perhaps willfully, blind to their own deeper desires—with loyalties and libidos that may be at odds and morals that may be in question. Despite the title, not all are single (or carefree or mellow), but they are all singular, and following their stories is like sitting at a dive bar tossing back deceptively pretty, surprisingly strong drinks with a pal who may not always make the best decisions but always comes away with the most colorful tales.” ~Kirkus

"Katherine Heiny’s smart and stylishly-written stories are a delight. The women who populate this book—from a teenager in a relationship with her history teacher, in the terrific story 'The Rhett Butlers,' to a graduate student with a crush on her roommate, to several unfaithful suburban wives—are wonderfully human and relatable, both hapless and full of heart." ~Adelle Waldman, author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P

“Not since Laurie Colwin has a writer so poignantly and wittily depicted the joys of infidelity. Katherine Heiny knows the secret: happy marriages make for happy affairs. Also happy readers.” ~Susan Rieger, author of The Divorce Papers

“Funny and heartfelt . . . Few characters are single and even fewer are carefree—though most long to be. Instead, they are remorseful about their disloyalties, torn between spouses and secret lovers, and guilt-ridden over the betrayals they commit in the name of love . . . Maya, who appears in several more stories in various stages of life and love, is one of many captivating characters expertly imagined by Heiny . . . An exceptionally humorous collection by a talented new writer.” ~Library Journal

Single, Carefree, Mellow is a book about heartache, adultery, love, and loss that somehow manages to be both laugh-out-loud funny and wise, sometimes in the very same sentence. It’s full of lines so smart and sharp that I was compelled to stop and read them out loud to my friends. This book is amazing, brilliant, and nothing short of wonderful.” ~Jennifer Close, author of Girls in White Dresses

"Katherine Heiny where have you been all my life? Single, Carefree, Mellow is among the most insightful, funny, and smart collections I’ve read in a very long time. The unfaithful lovers and spouses that populate so many of these stories remain lovable and true despite their bad behavior and questionable choices. And their happy endings feel earned and unsentimental. How did you pull that off? There are echoes of Lorrie Moore, Melissa Bank, and even Alice Munro, but the voice is fresh and original throughout. More, more, more. Please!" ~Stephen McCauley, author of The Object of My Affection

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