Part of DailyCandy's Best of 2012 List
Best 100 Books of 2012”
"Fresh and funny, the images encapsulate the mortification, confusion and excitement that define so many 20-something existences."
--The New York Times Book Review
"Wonderful storytelling panache...Mr. Meno excels at capturing the way that budding love can make two people feel brave and freshly alive...Sweet simplicity."
--The Wall Street Journal
"Meno has constructed a snow-flake delicate inquiry into alienation and longing. Illustrated with drawings and photographs and shaped by tender empathy, buoyant imagination, and bittersweet wit, this wistful, provocative, off-kilter love story affirms the bonds forged by art and story."
--Booklist (starred review)
"The talented Chicago-based Meno has composed a gorgeous little indie romance, circa 1999 . . . A sweetheart of a novel, complete with a hazy ending."
"High on quirk and hipster cred."
--Publishers Weekly, "Pick of the Week"
"Meno's book is an honest look at the isolation of being a creative person in your twenties living in a city."
--Daily Beast, "3 Must-Read Offbeat Novels"
"Along with PBRs, flannels, and thick-framed glasses, this Millennial Franny and Zooey is an instant hipster staple."
"Gorgeously packaged, it's like a Meno box set 15 years in the making."
"In this geeky-elegant novel, Meno transforms wintery Chicago into a wondrous crystallization of countless dreams and tragedies, while telling the stories of two derailed young artists, two wounded souls, in cinematic vignettes that range from lushly atmospheric visions to crack-shot volleys of poignant and funny dialogue."
--Kansas City Star
"Meno supplies an off-kilter, slightly inappropriate answer to the Hollywood rom-com. Meno is a deft writer. The dialogue in Office Girl is often funny, the pacing quirky, and some of its quick, affecting similes remind me of Lorrie Moore."
"A charming and unpretentious hipster love story destined to be the next cult classic."
"Today, when it seems that most media is hellbent on constantly reflecting on and reinventing our childhood and adolescence, it's refreshing to read a novel that can be nostalgic without being ironic."
"Office Girl is packed with whimsy and soft terror ... Meno does good here."
"Joe Meno's Office Girl draws the awkward love story of two twenty-somethings with grace and empathy in this exceptional novel."
"Office Girl might be Joe Meno's breakthrough novel . . . his crystalline prose has a chance to shine."
"Wistful, heartbreaking, and melancholy, a sneakily tight manuscript that gets better and better the farther you read."
--Chicago Center for Literature and Photography
"Fresh and sharply observed, Office Girl is a love story on bicycles, capturing the beauty of individual moments and the magic hidden in everyday objects and people. Joe Meno will make you stop and notice the world. And he will make you wonder."
--Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief
No one dies in Office Girl. Nobody talks about the international political situation. There is no mention of any economic collapse. Nothing takes place during a World War.
Instead, this novel is about young people doing interesting things in the final moments of the last century. Odile is a lovely twenty-three-year-old art-school dropout, a minor vandal, and a hopeless dreamer. Jack is a twenty-five-year-old shirker who's most happy capturing the endless noises of the city on his out-of-date tape recorder. Together they decide to start their own art movement in defiance of a contemporary culture made dull by both the tedious and the obvious. Set in February 1999just before the end of one world and the beginning of anotherOffice Girl is the story of two people caught between the uncertainty of their futures and the all-too-brief moments of modern life.
Joe Meno's latest novel also features black-and-white illustrations by renowned artist Cody Hudson and photographs by visionary photographer Todd Baxter.