Funny, tough, and heartbreaking—often all at once—Mimi Lipson’s debut collection is a grand tour of bars, diners, bus stations, dog parks, hardcore clubs, vacant lots, and other places that draw people whose inner lives are richer than their wallets.
Lipson’s alter ego, the sharp-tongued and sharp-eyed Kitty, appears in a variety of guises: as a seven-year-old on a Florida vacation scammed by her roguish father, as a college student who receives a stunningly crucial education outside the classroom, as a passenger whose life changes on a cross-country bus. After meeting her parents, her brother, her friends and co-workers, we are introduced to Isaac, the sui generis manchild who becomes both her lover and her charge, a human roller-coaster who swings her between delight, exasperation, and mortal peril.
Like a dinner composed of appetizers, Lipson’s book is very nearly a novel, in mosaic form, without all the boring parts. Her wit is as sharp as a serpent’s tooth, her sentences as percussively satisfying as billiard balls clicking into the pocket.