15 Books to Pick Up This September
Engaging exiles, confessional comedians, floundering families and more!
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Trying to Float
Before you scoff at the idea of a high schooler writing a memoir, consider that Nicolaia Rips, author of Trying to Float, came of age in the Chelsea Hotel, the bohemian milieu of Andy Warhol, Madonna, and Dylan Thomas and sanctuary to a disappearing breed of Manhattan eccentrics whose members include avant-garde nightclub proprietors, call girls, and paranoid painters. Or, as the author calls them, neighbors. Rips is disarmingly inquisitive, a quality that made her unpopular in school but the mascot of the Chelsea, and a magnetic storyteller. In a freewheeling series of anecdotes belonging somewhere between cocktail party and therapy session, Rips describes her scenery-chewing parents, conniving classmates, erratic fellow tenants, and the pleasant mayhem that ensues when they all collide. Patti Smith has called the Chelsea the "energetic, desperate haven for scores of gifted hustling children from every rung of the ladder." Count Rips as one of the hotel's most gifted latter-day offspring.
— Natalie Beach