In my reckless and undiscouraged youth, I worked in a walnut-panelled office thirteen floors above West 35th Street...
When 85-year-old Lillian Boxfish steps out of her apartment on New Year’s Eve in 1984, little does she know she’s about to embark on a journey across the whole of Manhattan.
Lillian is no ordinary 85-year-old. On her arrival to New York in the 1930s she took the city by storm, working her way up from writing copy for Macy’s department store to become the world’s highest paid advertising woman. Now, alone on New Year’s Eve, her usual holiday ritual in ruins, Lillian decides to take a walk. After all, it might be her last chance. Armed with only her mink coat and quick-witted charm, Lillian walks, and begins to reveal the story of her remarkable life.
Based on a true story, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk paints a portrait of an extraordinary woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the AIDS epidemic; the Great Depression to the birth of hiphop.
‘Extraordinary . . . Rooney creates a glorious paean to a distant literary life and time.’ – Publishers Weekly
'A witty and heartfelt ode to a city, to its infinite variety, to its melting pot of citizens.' - Boston Globe
‘Vividly depicts an evolving New York City as well as the changing roles of women over the course of the 20th century.’ – BookPage
‘Easily the best gadding-around-town novel since Dawn Powell and Dorothy Parker.’ – Daniel Handler, author of A Series of Unfortunate Events