How do I describe Jincy Willett's latest book? By saying she is one of the most brilliant and under-appreciated authors alive today? By comparing her snarky wit to that of Dorothy Parker and David Sedaris? By describing my reading process when it comes to a book this good (continually pausing to savor what I just read and keep from racing through too quickly)? Whatever I say won't be enough; Amy Falls Down is a brilliant follow-up to her equally engrossing The Writing Class (stop reading this blurb and go pick up The Writing Class!), and a funny, insightful look into the publishing world and the mind of Amy Gallup, the dark and lovably bitter writer at the heart of it all. Do yourself a favor and read this book!— LAUREN'S STAFF PICKS
July 2013 Indie Next List
“A once-famed writer, considered the voice of her generation thirty years ago, Amy now teaches creative writing online and lives a hermit's life. However, one day before an interview, she falls down in her yard and gets a concussion, afterward giving a most peculiar and stirring interview - none of which she remembers. While seemingly benign, the interview quietly restarts her career - and within a year Amy is once again the voice of writers everywhere. 'Amy Falls Down' is a wonderful story that explores the business of writing in our modern era. Just wonderful!”
— Meaghan Beasley, Island Bookstore, Duck, NC
Amy Gallup is an aging novelist and writing instructor living in Escondido, California, with her dog, Alphonse. Since recent unsettling events, she has made some progress. While she still has writer's block, she doesn't suffer from it. She's still a hermit, but she has allowed some of her class members into her life. She is no longer numb, angry, and sardonic: she is merely numb and bemused, which is as close to happy as she plans to get. Amy is calm.
So, when on New Year's morning she shuffles out to her backyard garden to plant a Norfolk pine, she is wholly unprepared for what happens next.
Amy falls down.
A simple accident, as a result of which something happens, and then something else, and then a number of different things, all as unpredictable as an eight-ball break. At first the changes are small, but as these small events carom off one another, Amy's life changes in ways that range from ridiculous to frightening to profound.
This most reluctant of adventurers is dragged and propelled by train, plane, and automobile through an outlandish series of antic media events on her way to becoming—to her horror—a kind of celebrity. And along the way, as the numbness begins to wear off, she comes up against something she has avoided all her life: her future.
Jincy Willett's Amy Falls Down explores, through the experience of one character, the role that accident plays in all our lives. "You turn a corner and beasts break into arias, gunfire erupts, waking a hundred families, starting a hundred different conversations. You crack your head open and three thousand miles away a stranger with Asperger's jump-starts your career."
We are all like Amy. We are all wholly unprepared for what happens next.
Also, there's a basset hound.
About the Author
JINCY WILLETT is the author of Jenny and the Jaws of Life, Winner of the National Book Award, and The Writing Class, which have been translated and sold internationally. Her stories have been published in Cosmopolitan, McSweeney's Quarterly and other magazines. She frequently reviews for The New York Times Book Review.
“I loved this novel--it's totally brilliant--witty and mordant....I thought Willett couldn't top Winner of the National Book Award, but I was wrong--this one definitely does.” —Nancy Pearl
“Willett uses her charmingly filterless heroine as a mouthpiece to slam a parade of thinly veiled literati and media personalities with riotous accuracy, but she balances the snark with moments of poignancy.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The books of Jincy Willett are a delicious secret--witty, clever, ironic, funny. Her new novel, Amy Falls Down, pokes fun at our world of instant celebrity and buzz.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Jincy Willett is hilarious, witty, and compelling....Put Amy Falls Down on the top of your list.” —The Providence Journal