How It Ended  by Jay McInerney

How It Ended
352 pages; Knopf
They are hyped and hungover, rueful party animals and sapped social climbers, wayward spouses and strangers in the night. Some characters in Jay McInerney's How It Ended: New and Collected Stories appeared in such earlier fictions as that swan song of 1980s hedonism Bright Lights, Big City. Others are fresh, fraught personalities: husbands teetering on tightrope marriages, wives with axes to grind. One character making her debut in this collection: Alysha de Sante ("Summary Judgment"), a self-styled countess with a flair for massaging outsize egos, who could be the most shamelessly mercenary heroine this side of Becky Sharp.
— Cathleen Medwick