No Lease on Life
Author: Lynne Tillman
Publisher: Red Lemonade
New from the publisher
A National Book Critic Circle Award Finalist, No Lease on Life hannels the rage, filth, anguish, and the bust-a-gut hilarity of pre-gentrified New York.
The New York of Lynne Tillman's hilarious, audacious fourth novel is a boiling point of urban decay. The East Village streets are overrun with crooked cops, drug addicts, pimps, and prostitutes. Garbage piles up along the sidewalks amid the blaring soundtrack of car stereos. Confrontations are supercharged by the summer heat wave. This merciless noise has left Elizabeth Hall an insomniac. Junkies roam her building and overturn trashcans, but the landlord refuses to help clean or repair the decrepit conditions. Live-in boyfriend Roy is good-natured but too avoidant to soothe the sores of city life. Though Elizabeth fights for sanity in this apathetic metropolis, violent fantasies threaten to push her over the edge. In vivid detail, she begins to imagine murders: those of the "morons" she despises, and, most obsessively, her own. Frightening, hilarious, and wholly addictive, No Lease on Life is an avant-garde sucker-punch, a plea for humanity propelled by dark wit and unflinching honesty. Tillman's spare prose, frank, poignant and always illuminating, captures all the raving absurdity of a very bad day in America's toughest, hottest melting pot.
"She's a character who stays with you after you put the book down--a creature of occasional dark impulses, intermittent grumpiness and perennial willingness to pull up her socks and deal. And, oddly enough, you're also left with a sense of Tillman's paradoxical, contentious affection for New York in all its epic exasperatingness."--New York Times Book Review
"Both entertaining and unnerving. . . If fiction is a mirror that shows the life and slime of our times, then this writer has her finger on the wavering pulse of our century at it's closing."--Time Out
"As energetic and raunchy as a New York street"--San Francisco Chronicle
"A funny, frightening, and utterly brilliant tour de force."-- Bay Area Reporter