The Gin Closet

Leslie Jamison (Author)


From the author of the New York Times bestselling essay collection The Empathy Exams and the memoir The Recovering, Leslie Jamison's "exquisitely beautiful" (San Francisco Chronicle) novel about three generations of women and the inescapable brutality of love.

As a young woman, Tilly flees home for the hollow underworld of Nevada, looking for pure souls and finding nothing but bad habits. One day, after Tilly has spent nearly thirty years without a family, drinking herself to the brink of death, her niece Stella--who has been leading her own life of empty promise in New York City--arrives on the doorstep of Tilly's desert trailer. The Gin Closet unravels the strange and powerful intimacy that forms between them. With an uncanny ear for dialogue and a witty, unflinching candor about sex, love, and power, Leslie Jamison reminds us that no matter how unexpected its turns, the life we're given is all we have: the cruelties that unhinge us, the beauties that clarify us, the addictions that deform us, those fleeting possibilities of grace that fade as quickly as they come. The Gin Closet marks the debut of a stunning new talent in fiction.

Product Details

Free Press
Publish Date
May 03, 2011
5.49 X 0.79 X 8.43 inches | 0.57 pounds
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About the Author

Leslie Jamison is the author of a novel, The Gin Closet, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Fiction Prize. Her essays have appeared in the Believer, Harper's, Oxford American, A Public Space, Tin House, and The Best American Essays. She is a regular columnist for the New York Times Book Review and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


"Life is raw in Leslie Jamison's astonishing first novel, a story of love and ruin in the American is a book that finds beauty in dysfunction--and, in doing so, gives us one of the truest and most devastating depictions of alcoholism to be had in some time...The Gin Closet is nothing short of a tour de force."
--Buffalo News

"Keenly felt...Redemption, finds Jamison, like love, is rarely pure or unambiguous."