I Was Told There'd Be Cake (Paperback)

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I Was Told There'd Be Cake By Sloane Crosley Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

            We got this in as a used book and, having forgotten to bring a book to read at lunch, I snagged it. I read the first essay (“The Pony Problem”) out loud to my coworkers and, within the first two pages, all of us were almost in tears with laughter. Sloane Crosley’s writing is like if you mixed David Sedaris with Phoebe Waller Bridge’s Fleabag, and then threw a good amount of Patricia Lockwood in there. She’s like the friend you haven’t seen in a couple of months, but you’ll text her hey, what’s going on and she’ll immediately send you a string of texts that looks something like this:

            oh my god hey

            you’ll never guess what’s happening rn

            I accidentally stole a butterfly from the natural

history museum

            not my fault I was just trying to volunteer

            but it followed me home???

            what do I do with it

            can I let it go?????? if a pigeon eats it will it

poison the pigeon?? will it start a pigeon


            I’m good how are you

            There’s no way for me to do this book justice except to say this: if you’re down, lost, or even completely fine, this is for you. If you’ve ever made the same joke one too many times; if you’ve wondered where your name was from and then been disappointed; if you’ve ever locked yourself out of two apartments in one day – this one’s for you.

— Grace, Longfellow Books


Hailed by David Sedaris as "perfectly, relentlessly funny" and by Colson Whitehead as "sardonic without being cruel, tender without being sentimental," from the author of the new collection Look Alive Out There

Wry, hilarious, and profoundly genuine, this debut collection of literary essays is a celebration of fallibility and haplessness in all their glory.

From despoiling an exhibit at the Natural History Museum to provoking the ire of her first boss to siccing the cops on her mysterious neighbor, Crosley can do no right despite the best of intentions -- or perhaps because of them. Together, these essays create a startlingly funny and revealing portrait of a complex and utterly recognizable character who aims for the stars but hits the ceiling, and the inimitable city that has helped shape who she is. I Was Told There'd Be Cake introduces a strikingly original voice, chronicling the struggles and unexpected beauty of modern urban life.

About the Author

Sloane Crosley is the author of the new collection Look Alive Out There, the novel The Clasp, and the bestselling essay collections How Did You Get This Number and I Was Told There'd Be Cake, which was a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor. Her essays and criticism have appeared in The New York Times, New York Observer, the Village Voice, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Salon, Black Book, Radar, Maxim, and The Believer. She lives in New York City.

Praise For…

“Sloane Crosley is another mordant and mercurial wit from the realm of Sedaris and Vowell. What makes her so funny is that she seems to be telling the truth, helplessly.”  —Jonathan Lethem
Product Details
ISBN: 9781594483066
ISBN-10: 159448306X
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: April 1st, 2008
Pages: 240
Language: English