Break in Case of Emergency: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries) (Paperback)

Break in Case of Emergency: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries) By Jessica Winter Cover Image
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In her early thirties, Jen has all but abandoned a once-promising painting career when she takes a poorly defined job at a feminist nonprofit. The Leora Infinitis Foundation—or LIFt—claims to empower women, but staffers spend all their time devising acronyms for imaginary programs, ruthlessly undermining one another, and stroking the ego of their boss, a larger-than-life celebrity philanthropist.

Stuck in this passive-aggressive hellscape, Jen struggles with insecurity, especially when she compares herself to her two best friends, Meg and Pam—one a wealthy attorney with a picture-perfect family, the other a passionately committed artist. When the personal and the professional begin to collide in the course of a fateful art exhibition, a surreal business trip, and a devastating loss, it forces Jen to reckon with some hard truths about herself and the people she loves most.

About the Author

Jessica Winter is features editor at Slate and the former culture editor of Time. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Bookforum, The Believer, and many other publications.


Praise For…

“A funny and moving commentary on that point in a woman’s life when everything seems to come into question.” —The New York Times

“Complex and intelligent. . . . Winter explores what it means to have a voice, and how and when to use it.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Enthralling [and] sharply observed.” —Marie Claire

“Sassy, sarcastic and sleek, this is a wonderfully brash appraisal of how we live.” —Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin 

“Winter’s sharp perceptions and fluent prose are so much fun to experience. . . . Achingly real.” —Bookforum

“Very smart and juicy and weird and entertaining . . . it reads like a chick-lit plot written by Jonathan Franzen.” —Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Eligible

Break in Case of Emergency is one of those books I considered my companion, and I missed it when it was over.”  —Heidi Julavits, author of The Folded Clock

“In this cutting commentary on workplace toxicity and how its tendrils can strangle relationships, Winter uses humor to illuminate the state of modern work, family, and friendship.” —Elle.com
“Hilarious. . . . The personal and workplace plots are woven together beautifully. Read, cringe, laugh, relate.” —Lenny Letter

“Entertaining and smartly satirical. . . . This is both a biting lampoon of workplace politics and a heartfelt search for meaning in modern life.” —Publishers Weekly
Break in Case of Emergency is a high-quality tribute to ordinary experience, which makes it an extraordinary debut.” —The Guardian (London)
“The go-to read of the summer.” —Brit + Co.

“Extremely funny—a satirical masterpiece that is tender and existentially-minded as well. I loved it!” —Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Portable Veblen
 “Jessica Winter has given us not just one of the funniest books of the year, but an entire glorious comic universe that’s as addictive as it is immersive.  Not a page goes by without a half dozen delights.  Half dozen to a dozen.  Sometimes more.” —Ed Park, author of Personal Days
“Curious, captivating.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Brilliant . . . wry and unerringly sharp.” —Refinery29

Break in Case of Emergency is compelling, funny, sad, moving, and ultimately uplifting. Winter is one of the best satirists of the workplace I’ve read in years; she has a deadly ear for the belief-defying hypocrisies of the office and the art world. But she's also a tender portraitist of the bonds of love, family, and friendship, and of the thousand little (and not so little) ways a person can defeat herself in the search for happiness. I couldn’t put this book down.” —Paul La Farge, author of Luminous Airplanes

Product Details
ISBN: 9781101911938
ISBN-10: 110191193X
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Pages: 288
Language: English
Series: Vintage Contemporaries