Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
It's the last day of 1984, and 85-year-old Lillian Boxfish is about to take a walk. As she crosses the unsafe landscape of a run-down Manhattan, a city anxious after an attack by a still-at-large subway vigilante, she encounters bartenders, bodega clerks, chauffeurs, security guards, bohemians, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be-in surprising moments of generosity and grace. As she strolls, she recalls a long and eventful life that included a brief reign as the highest-paid advertising woman in America, cut short by marriage, motherhood, divorce, and a breakdown.
A love letter to city life no matter how shiny or sleazy, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic, from the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop.
KATHLEEN ROONEY is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press and lives in Chicago, where she appeared on New City Lit's list of "Lit 50 15: Who Really Books in Chicago." Her previous works include the novel O, Democracy! (2014); Live Nude Girl: My Life as an Object (2009); and Reading with Oprah: The Book Club That Changed America (2005). Other writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The New York Times Magazine, Allure, Salon, The Rumpus, and the Chicago Tribune.