Sweetbitter - Stephanie Danler

Staff Pick

The protagonist of this autobiographical novel is a young woman who graduates from college in the Midwest and moves to New York City, where she soon finds work in one of the city’s most renowned restaurants. Working there with a motley crew of artists, actors and restaurant industry veterans, she learns hard lessons about adulthood amid the bright lights and expensive plates of the city’s fine dining scene. Danler’s experience working in the industry (she got her start at Danny Meyer’s renowned Union Square Café) is evident as she writes beautifully about the tastes of all manner of food and spirits, and accurately depicts the cutthroat managerial practices of the restaurant industry, and how the camaraderie between waiters and other staff enables them to endure the many stresses of their jobs. The protagonist’s torrid affair with an older bartender undergirds the book’s dramatic arc, and while this element of the narrative makes it a great plane or beach read, there are also profound meditations here on how the hard lessons of early adulthood teach us resilience in the end.

Sweetbitter: A novel By Stephanie Danler Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101875940
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf - May 24th, 2016

Sweetbitter (Vintage Contemporaries) By Stephanie Danler Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101911860
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - April 4th, 2017