SLOANE CROSLEY discusses her new collection of essays LOOK ALIVE OUT THERE

Look Alive Out There (FSG/MCD)

Exactly ten years after her debut essay collection, I Was Told There’d Be Cake, introduced a strikingly original, genre-resuscitating voice to the world, the bestselling author Sloane Crosley returns to the personal essay right when we need her most. Look Alive Out There is a collection of sixteen new essays, each one brimming with Crosley’s trademark wit and observation. 

She is by turns charming, deadpan, hilarious, and wise—her writing has always been a tonic in a world gone nuts. Crosley continues to respond to life’s everyday absurdities, and poignant moments too, with laugh-out- loud one-liners and the kind of incisive prose that makes us feel as if we’re sitting with our most tell-it- to-me- like-it- is friend. But a decade later, she’s taken her Crosley-specific combination of dubiousness and wonder and applied it to the weightier aspects of all our lives (though never at the sacrifice of the funny).

Whether she’s being terrorized by a borderline feral teenage neighbor in Manhattan or tracking down the British grifter who is holding her digital identity hostage; grappling with an odd illness, interviewing her long-lost ‘70s porn star uncle, or crashing a shiva, the world provides Sloane with rich material, even from the most unlikely places. Crosley fans will also be glad to find a classic cornucopia of encounters with strangers—the Rite Aid clerk who thinks Sloane’s hitting on her, swingers in the backwoods of California, the childhood crush who wants publishing advice, and one epileptic dog.

Critics have hailed Crosley as the literary descendant of Nora Ephron, David Sedaris, Joseph Mitchell, and Dorothy Parker, yet her distinct voice is tailor-made for contemporary snafus, large and small. Look Alive Out There is about finding one’s place in a world where things rarely wrap up the way we expect them to. It is your reminder to never fall asleep at the wheel. It is about feeling deeply while laughing your ass off. More than anything, Crosley makes us feel like we’re all in this together
— which we would call a coup if it weren’t for the fact that this is the book we always hoped she would write. This is the writer who cracked open the predominately male genre of the narrative humor essay and made way for fresh takes on contemporary life. And in these ludicrous times, her originality and sophistication, are more than welcome.

NOTE: As with all Skylight Books in-store events, this reading is free and open to the public (first come, first served). But because we're expecting a large crowd at this event, we'll be giving out numbered tickets to the signing line to keep things organized:

  • To get a ticket to the signing line, you must purchase a copy of Look Alive Out There here at Skylight Books. Online presales will begin March 5th, and books with tickets will be available for pickup beginning April 3, 2018. 
  • For all website orders for this event, be sure to leave a note in the Order Comments field that you would like a ticket and plan to attend the event.
  • Can't attend? If you would like a signed book but will not be able to attend, click Signed Copy after adding the book to your cart and we'll do our best to get it signed for you. You  may pick up this book in the store after the event, or have it shipped to you.
  • Skylight's Friends with Benefits members get priority signing line tickets (and 20% off this and all other event books each month), so be sure to mention your membership (or join) when you order the book.

Praise for Look Alive Out There 

“Sloane Crosley does the impossible. She stays consistently funny and delivers a book that is alive and jumping.”— Steve Martin

“In her third collection of personal essays, [Crosley] continues her tradition of hilarious insight into the human condition...[She] is exceedingly clever and has a witticism for all occasions, but it is her willingness to confront some of life’s darker corners with honesty and vulnerability that elevates this collection.”— Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A marvel . . . The latest collection from the Manhattan-based essayist suggests she can write engagingly about nearly anything.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Laugh-out- loud funny seems too trite a phrase for a writer whose takes are so addictively original and unexpected, but it’s also true: dear readers, you will laugh.”—Booklist, starred review

“Spot-on, incisive…This is Crosley at her best. These essays are funny but also complex with depth. [She] uses humor to not only entertain but also examine wealth and social inequality, sex and gender roles, fertility and death…Crosley’s growth and maturity as a writer shines in this collection, and it’s fair to say: she is the millennial’s Nora Ephron.” — Library Journal

Sloane Crosley is the author of I Was Told There’d Be Cake, a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor, and How Did You Get This Number, both New York Times bestsellers. Her debut novel, The Clasp, was a national bestseller and has been optioned for film by Universal Pictures. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Esquire, Elle, Vogue, and New York magazine, among many others. She is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and Interview magazine.
Her new collection of essays, Look Alive Out There, will be published by FSG/MCD in April 2018. She lives in Manhattan.

Photo by Ungano + Agriodimas

Event date: 
Monday, April 16, 2018 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
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