Three years after her widely praised first novel, FROM ROCKAWAY (Knopf, 1987) Jill Eisenstadt confirmed her talent with the antic misadventures of her second novel, KISS OUT. Sam Lubin, who sings at bar mitzvahs and retirement parties with his family’s rock-and-roll band, decides to marry 18-year-old Claire. His explanation? “She’s really, really, rich…Besides, I love her.”
Claire has devoted the last two years of her life to mourning her mother (who literally died of embarrassment at a garden-club luncheon) and tending to her bereaved father. She has so little sense of self that she doesn’t even appear in her own dreams. With colloquial yet sophisticated style, Eisenstadt leads this raucous comedy on a dizzying tour of ostentatiously lowbrow culture and growing-up angst as Claire begins to demand more from life.
KISS OUT is manic on the surface and, like the best comedies, concerned with matters of grave importance, love and death among them, at heart.
FROM ROCKAWAY (Knopf 1987/Vintage Contemporaries 1988) published to wide praise when Jill Eisenstadt was a 24-year-old Bennington College graduate. Her essays, articles, short fiction and poetry have appeared in such publications as The New York Times, New York Magazine, Vogue, Elle, Bomb, The Best of The New York Times “City Section” and Best American Sex Writing. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, the writer Michael Drinkard.