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INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER * A thrilling novel of the senses and a coming-of-age tale, following a small-town girl into the electrifying world of New York City and the education of a lifetime at one of the most exclusive restaurants in Manhattan. Perfect for readers of Kitchen Confidential and Blood, Bones and Butter.
Twenty-two, and knowing no one, Tess leaves home to begin her adult life in New York City. Thus begins a year that is both enchanting and punishing, in a low-level job at “the best restaurant in New York City.” Grueling hours and a steep culinary learning curve awaken her to the beauty of oysters, the finest Champagnes, the appellations of Burgundy. At the same time, she opens herself to friendships—and love—set against the backdrop of dive bars and late nights. As her appetites sharpen—for food and wine, but also for knowledge, experience, and belonging—Tess is drawn into a darkly alluring love triangle that will prove to be her most exhilarating and painful lesson of all.
Stephanie Danler deftly conjures the nonstop and purely adrenalized world of the restaurant—conversations interrupted, phrases overheard, and suggestions below the surface. Evoking the infinite possibility of being young in New York with heart-stopping accuracy, Sweetbitter is ultimately about the power of what remains after disillusionment, and the wisdom that comes from experience, sweet and bitter.
About the Author
STEPHANIE DANLER is a writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the New School.
“Brilliantly written… Sweetbitter is the Kitchen Confidential of our time.”
—Gabrielle Hamilton, author of Blood, Bones & Butter and Prune, New York Times Book Review
“Danler’s sexy, astute debut is really a love story about the addictive pull of restaurant life… Anyone who’s ever tied on an apron will think, “Finally, someone wrote a book about us.” And nailed it.”
—People (book of the week)
“An unpretentious, truth-dealing novel… about hunger of every variety. Ms. Danler is a sensitive observer… and gifted commenter on many things. Sweetbitter is going to make a lot of people hungry.”
—Dwight Garner, New York Times
“… perfectly captures the raw possibility of a young woman’s first year in New York, opening up to a whole new world of wine, food, love and heartbreak.”
—Mackenzie Dawson, New York Post
"...a raw, shucked, pungent, wild love story."
"Danler... quickly draws you into the sparkling surfaces and the shadowy underbelly of the city... [Tess's] insatiable hunger for tactile, sensual satisfaction dares you to tag along. The journey is high-minded and dirty, beastly and bountiful."
“Danler’s ravishing debut is like inhabiting the heady after-midnight hours of a city drunk on its own charms… [her] descriptions of food and drink go beyond mouth-watering, verging on orgasmic… a first novel [that] tantalizes, seduces, satisfies.”
—Leigh Haber, O Magazine