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Any Place I Hang My Hat: A Novel Paperback – April 18, 2006

3.4 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A political reporter in her late 20s goes in search of the mother who abandoned her when she was a baby in this jaunty if rather jerky 10th novel by Isaacs (Long Time No See; Red, White, and Blue; etc.). Amy Lincoln was brought up in the projects by her Grandma Lil, a leg waxer and devoted Falcon Crest viewer; her amiable father, Chicky, spent most of Amy's childhood in prison on a series of minor theft raps. A boarding school scholarship rescues Amy from lower-class oblivion; she goes on to Harvard and Columbia, then lands a job at In Depth, a highbrow weekly. Upbeat and self-deprecating, Amy spends little time bemoaning her past, but an encounter with college student Freddy Carrasco, who claims he's the illegitimate son of a Democratic presidential candidate, gets Amy wondering where her own mother might be. While advising Freddy how to approach his father, she uses her reporting skills to track down her elusive mother. The political subplot is anticlimactic—Amy doesn't even get a scoop—and Amy's eventual reunion with her mother, revealed to be a chilly suburban housewife, is credibly if rather disappointingly subdued. The parade of lavishly and loopishly described secondary characters and gossipy New York scene-setting give the novel its zing; Amy's rocky relationship with her documentary filmmaker boyfriend provides a jolt of romantic excitement and a happy ending.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Isaacs first started writing books in the mid-1970s. Three decades later, she’s published her 10th novel, Any Place I Hang My Hat, a Cinderella story with a TV-movie-of-the-week feel. Isaacs’s heroine, Amy Lincoln, suffers from abandonment and trust issues. She’s worked her way out of poverty and up the journalistic ladder, but she can’t quite get past the yearning to locate her long-lost mother and maternal grandparents. Most critics feel Isaacs has penned a heart-warming, if overly predictable, tale of self-realization and empowerment, but a few declared the journey to be more productive than the end result.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 382 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (April 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743272307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743272308
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,782,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

First, here's what the critics say::

AFiction done well and done with a difference...A sophisticated storyteller, with a wry view of the world.@ - Washington Post

AJane Austen brought up to date...Highly amusing.@ - Atlantic Monthly

ASusan Isaacs is a witty, wry observer of the contemporary scene.@ - New York Times Book Review

ASardonic humor and dead-on commentary.@ - Houston Chronicle

ASusan Isaacs knows the art of dialogue the way J.S. Bach knew the art of the fugue.@ - Seattle Times

Blockbuster writers tend to be no more than terrific storytellers. Susan Isaacs=s talents go far beyond that. She is a witty, insightful, and elegant writer.@ - Mademoiselle

AI can think of no other novelist--popular or highbrow--who consistently celebrates female gutsiness, brains and sexuality. She=s Jane Austen with a schmear.@ Maureen Corrigan- National Public Radio Fresh Air

AWho....., is our best popular novelist? The nominee for this quarter is Susan Isaacs....[She] is a comic realist, an astute chronicler of contemporary life in the tradition of....Anthony Trollope.@ - Sun Sentinel

Susan's biography

Susan Isaacs, novelist, essayist and screenwriter, was born in Brooklyn and educated at Queens College. She worked as an editorial assistant at Seventeen magazine writing everything from book reviews to advice to the lovelorn. In 1968, Susan married Elkan Abramowitz, then a federal prosecutor. She became a senior editor but left Seventeen in 1970 to stay home with her newborn son, Andrew. Three years later, she gave birth to Elizabeth. During this time she freelanced, writing political speeches as well as magazine articles.

In the mid-seventies, Susan got the urge to write a novel. A year later she began Compromising Positions, a whodunit set on suburban Long Island. It was published in. Her second novel, Close Relations, a love story set against a background of ethnic, sexual and New York Democratic politics (thus a comedy), was published in. Her third, Almost Paradise, was published in 1984. All of Susan's novels have been New York Times bestsellers. Her fiction has been translated into thirty languages.

In 1985, she wrote the screenplay for Paramount's Compromising Positions, which starred Susan Sarandon and Raul Julia. She also wrote and co-produced Disney's Hello Again. The 1987 comedy starred Shelley Long and Gabriel Byrne.

Her fourth novel, Shining Through, set during World War II, was published in 1988. The film adaptation starred Michael Douglas and Melanie Griffith. Then came Magic Hour January 1991, After All These Years in 1993. Lily White in 1996 and Red, White and Blue in 1998. In 1999, Susan came out with her first work of nonfiction, Brave Dames and Wimpettes: What Women Are Really Doing on Page and Screen. During 2000, she wrote a series of columns on the presidential campaign for Newsday. Long Time No See, a sequel to Compromising Positions, came out in September 2001. Anyplace I Hang My Hat, was published in 2004. Past Perfect is her eleventh novel.

Susan Isaacs is a recipient of the Writers for Writers Award and the John Steinbeck Award. She serves as chairman of the board of Poets & Writers and is a past president of Mystery Writers of America. She is also a member of the National Book Critics Circle, The Creative Coalition, PEN, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the International Association of Crime Writers, and the Adams Round Table. Besides writing innumerable book reviews, Susan has also written about politics, film and First Amendment issues. She lives on Long Island with her husband.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
.....since author Susan Isaacs penned her "Compromising Positions" yarn about a middle-aged suburban housewife. In THAT book, which may seem ordinary today, Isaacs broke

a lot of rules. She wrote about the suburban mom vs. working woman in a manner that poked fun at both. She let her heroine have an adulterous fling, and, somehow, it seemed

all right in a day and age when the sexual revolution was just something hippies were involved in. Over the years, in nine novels (ten, now!) Isaacs has given me much pleasure and literally has me stop and say more than once throughout each book-"that's happened to me...". My personal favorite of Isaac's novels is "After All These Years", but, then, I never met an Isaacs novel I didn't love.

I credit Susan Isaacs with starting the "chick lit" era, and she is a master. Her novels don't just make light of women facing issues, they generally are themed for a woman who is just discovering a whole lot about herself that she never knew. "Any Place I Hang My Hat" is no exception, although the heroine, Amy Lincoln (a 30-something Jewish-Italian New Yorker from the slums, with a missing mother who walked off and left her and a father ("Chicky") who has lived a life incarcerated, on and off)doesn't realize right away that she's destined to try to find her true self.

Naturally, Amy's used her wits and her knack for hard work and fitting in to go first to an exclusive boarding school, all expenses paid, then on to Harvard and Columbia to study journalism. She's a political writer for "In Depth" - a quality magazine with an educated following, and she's been involved for more than two years with a documentary

filmmaker, John Orenstein.
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Format: Hardcover
This was a very compelling and intelligent read that I would recommend to anyone who would enjoy an intelligent tale of a woman's personal growth. (I received this book as a Christmas present, and I am so grateful that someone finally understood my tastes in reading material!)

Amy's story is memorable -- she was abandoned by her mother as an infant, and raised by her delusioned, neglectful paternal grandmother, and by her father, when he was not in jail. She sees school and education as an escape, and when she has the chance, she accepts a scholarship at an elite boarding school. From there, she attends Harvard and Columbia school of journalism, and gets a job as a writer for a serious news magazine. Her travels through the different social levels of urban New York, from the projects to prisons to political circles to elite boarding schools, result in really striking and thought provoking commentary. (I didn't agree with every thing that Amy or the other characters said, and, happily, it didn't appear that Issacs was offering a lecture.) At the same time, the story is accessibly comtemporary, making frequent reference to recent world events and popular culture in a way that grounds the story in a particular time and place and gives the impression that Amy is not so devoted to politics and CSPAN that she has never watched reality TV.

Susan Issac creates a intelligent, self-sufficient, yet vulnerable character and neither Issacs not her character seems inclined to understimate the intelligence of the reader. Amy is charming, smart (reading four or five newspapers a day with a keen interest in politics and current events) and interested in what is going on in the world around her.
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Format: Hardcover
Since she burst onto the mystery scene with Compromising Positions, Susan Isaacs has created plots featuring strong heroines who find page-turning conflict in the most mundane worlds.

Here she steps away from the suburbs into slightly edgier territory. Amy Lincoln, a mature 29-year-old political writer, has risen from a beyond-dysfunctional home in the projects. Following a scholarship to a select prep school, she fought her way into Harvard and then Columbia Journalism School.

And now she's feeling stranded. Her too-good-to-be-true boyfriend doesn't seem to be moving to marriage. Her best friend is between marriages. Her father, released from prison for the third time, won't introduce her to his new girlfriend; after all, he's been passing for 36.

It's not clear what pushes Amy to start asking questions about her past after all this time. Maybe she is inspired by a young man who crashes a senator's reception, claiming to be a long lost son. For some reason, she gets her father to talk about her long-lost mother, then uses her reportorial skills to track down the missing family.

As Amy explores her roots, we're treated to a detailed description of just about everyone she meets -- even people who just walk onstage for a few pages. These detours add color to the novel and I for one didn't mind slowing down.

The climactic scene pulls the book together, striking just the right note. We realize how cruelly Amy's mother set events in motion that harmed everyone she knew: her own parents, Amy's father and ultimately Amy herself. True, Amy went to good schools, but there's a hint of scar tissue when she deals with past and present relationships.

Sometimes Amy seems extremely mature for a 29-year-old; after all, the author's quite a bit older.
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