The book is drawn from Ms. Kirschbaum’s experiences over the past 15 or so years in New York: after moving from a middle-class Philadelphia suburb, she covered the downtown scene for* The New York Times,* *The New York Observer, The Huffington Post *and others. Ms. Kirschbaum is the rare reporter who became part of her stories, dating band members and artists and hanging out with the crowd she was supposed to cover.* -Ray Lemoine, for the New York Times*
For her début novel *Who Town,* New York writer Susan Kirschbaum drew on her experience covering art, fashion, and certain social scenes in the city as a journalist for over a decade, lending the social parody an eerie air of realism. In Kirschbaum’s vivid portrayal, the problems and places feel real—it’s easy to envision scenes set not only in New York neighborhoods, but also in particular places, like the venue a young band plays on the Bowery, though she doesn’t name it. And issues of self and celebrity culture remain constant. While *Who Town *tells a tried tale—a mix of archetypal twenty-somethings struggling to find, define, and lose themselves in city culture—Kirschbaum reinvents the unraveling in a way that feels relevant. *Who Town* is the story of youth and identity, art and fashion, drugs and rehab, the scene and the sex, but for the next New York generation. -*The Last Magazine*
Susan Kirschbaum's debut novel *Who Town *takes a beautifully gritty look at what it means to be a celebrity in New York, and we love it.Spoiler alert: this is not another fluff piece about women who move to the city to live the life of a character from *Gossip Girl *or* Sex and the City*. Though her work has been compared to *Less Than Zero* by Bret Easton Ellis and *The Necklace *by Guy de Maupassant, Kirschbaum’s writing is entirely unique. Her unidealized prose paints it like it is in a style that is all her own and very true to today. If you’re looking for a novel for our generation in this city, this is it.
~ Noelle Yeager,* Dual Show*
About the Author
Susan Kirschbaum started her writing career as a journalist, penning fashion and art stories for Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, the Jewish Forward, the London Times, New York Observer, New York Magazine, and the New York Times, among others. She has written forwards and synopses for photography books for Steidl/Dangin, notably Roni Horn, Craig McDean, and Tierney Gearon. After dipping into investigative journalism and then personally, spending several late hours in back rooms with celebrities and rock stars, she decided to delve deeper into the human psyche and write fiction. She’s never looked back. Her first novel –”Who Town” — a social parody has been called by literary critics the “New York hipster Less than Zero." Her former agent described her as the love child of Mary Gaitskill and Bret Easton Ellis. There’s a second novel in the works that pays homage to some of her literary heroes including Nabokov, Philip Roth, Henry Miller, Jim Morrison, and her late grandmother Eva “Marge” Kirschbaum, all great story tellers in their own right.