How Could She
Wednesday, July 17, 7pm
ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED NOVELS OF SUMMER 2019
With advance praise from * Vogue * Vanity Fair * Real Simple * Town & Country * Family Circle * Cosmopolitan *Stephanie Danler * Elif Batuman * Rumaan Alam * Emma Straub * R.O. Kwon * Catherine Lacey * Kate Christensen * Kirkus (starred) * Booklist * Publishers Weekly
Lauren Mechling’s debut adult novel, HOW COULD SHE (Viking Books; June 25, 2019),
is a witty and sharp New York comedy of manners that explores the knotty terrain of female friendship and its impact on how we understand ourselves.
With honesty and humor, Mechling plumbs the jealousies, insecurities, and dreams of Sunny, Geraldine, and Rachel: old friends since their days in Toronto working entry-level jobs at a magazine, now living very different lives as 30-somethings in New York. Geraldine, running out of options in love and work, comes to New York City in search of both; Rachel, a new mother struggling to get her career on track in the crumbling media market; Sunny, a seemingly charmed artist with a rich husband, fabulous apartment, and overwhelming insecurity. Mechling invites us into the lives of all three, and in doing so reveals the brutal opinions we form about those closest to us and the ways we measure ourselves up to our so-called best friends.
With an insider’s knowledge and a satirical bite, Mechling portrays hustling media types that haunt the city’s gallery openings, wine bars, dog runs, and magazine offices as they contend with the collapse of print media, the rise of podcasting, and the effects of #MeToo in creative workplaces. In HOW COULD SHE, the clothes, conversational references, and restaurant reservations of Mechling’s characters act as talismans of artistic authenticity, financial success, and political allegiance. Mechling subtly exposes how we pull rank and flash labels in order to declare who we are and what we’ve accomplished, but also face the judgment of our social circles and, more acutely, ourselves, when reality falls short of aspiration.
Mechling is writing about a specific stratum of New York in HOW COULD SHE, but her approach, which Elif Batuman calls “as wise and unforgiving as a nineteenth-century French novel,” reveals the universal nature of her characters’ misgivings. Hilarious and fiercely observed, HOW COULD SHE shares how women are essential to one another in life and in love.
Lauren Mechling has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, The New Yorker online, and Vogue, where she writes a regular book column. She’s worked as a crime reporter and metro columnist for The New York Sun, a young adult novelist, and a features editor at The Wall Street Journal. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children. Learn more at www.laurenmechling.com.
“[How Could She is] both a satire of the 21st-century media world—with its podcasts, tastemakers, and print products on life support—and an emotional accounting of changed friendship and aspirations.”
—The New York Times
“Precise and of-the-moment. . . . A delectably uncomfortable time capsule of our post-aughts selves and the honest struggles that lurk inside the hearts of women everywhere.”
—Vogue, "10 New Books to Read This Summer"
“This wily send-up of NYC’s high-flying media elites proves that hell is a party filled with velvet-clad single men. A trio of 30-something BFFs drift apart and back together amid ego-bruising soirées and dubious alliances. Mechling poses the age-old question: Do men work better as soul mates or accessories?”
—O, the Oprah magazine, “The Best Books by Women of Summer 2019”
“With the big-hearted psychological acuity of Meg Wolitzer and the keen social scrutiny of Edith Wharton, Mechling probes what’s thorny and brutal about female friendships while also affirming just how ferociously important they are.”
—Esquire, "Best Books of Summer 2019"