The First Book

Wry, hilarious, and profoundly genuine, this debut collection of literary essays is a celebration of fallibility and haplessness in all their glory. From despoiling an exhibit at the Natural History Museum to provoking the ire of her first boss to siccing the cops on her mysterious neighbor, Crosley can do no right despite the best of intentions-or perhaps because of them. Together, these essays create a startlingly funny and revealing portrait of a complex and utterly recognizable character that’s aiming for the stars but hits the ceiling, and the inimitable city that has helped shape who she is. I Was Told There’d Be Cake introduces a strikingly original voice, chronicling the struggles and unexpected beauty of modern urban life.

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“Quirky twentysomething essayist Crosley has a gimlet eye for everyday absurdities—especially those she encounters as she maneuvers the wilds of Manhattan. In this stellar debut, she riffs on everything from the meaning of her cache of plastic ponies to being maid of honor for a woman she hasn’t seen since high school. Crosley’s style is so conversationally intimate that you’ll feel as though you’re sitting with her at a café, breathlessly waiting to hear what she’s going to tell you next.”

“Whether she’s locking herself out of her apartment twice in one day, baking a cookie in the shape of her boss’ face to win her approval, or trying to determine which of her friends defecated on her bathroom floor, Sloane Crosley asserts herself as a new master of nonfiction situational comedy in I Was Told There’d Be Cake, her debut collection of hilariously uncomfortable personal essays.”
—Entertainment Weekly

“The essays in this exquisite collection, Crosley’s first, spin around a young woman’s growing up and her first experiences in a big city, New York, as it happens. The voice feels a little like Nora Ephron’s, a little like Dorothy Parker’s and David Sedaris’, although Crosley has a spry wistfulness that’s very much her own. We envy the lucky guy who found the right words to ask her for a date while she was hanging from a strap in the subway, and applaud the arrival of a very funny writer.”
—Los Angeles Times

“Sloane Crosley channels David Sedaris—and Carrie Bradshaw—in a slightly cracked and often charming collection of essays recounting a suburban girl’s adventures in the big city.”