instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads

a thousand and one nights


"Sometimes a novel's premise is so out there that it perversely manages to feel like real life, with all its stranger-than-fiction twists and turns. Such is the case with Lara Tupper's debut, A Thousand and One Nights, an alternately hilarious and poignant look at the unsettled state of one young woman trying to make it outside the socially sanctioned college-office-marriage trajectory. Our heroine, a plucky (but not annoyingly so) 22-year-old named Karla, drifts first into a job as an entertainer on the MS Sound of Music cruise ship, then into an affair with a shuffleboard supervisor/nightly musical performer named Jack. When Jack suggests extending their fling to an on-land professional partnership, they quickly embark on a surreal showbiz circuit of hotel bars in such far-flung locales as China and Dubai. Along the way, Karla begins to question her adventure-for-adventure's-sake personal ethos, as well as suffer from the toll exacted by faking enthusiasm for a living. Both an off-kilter take on the conventional coming-of-age tale and a sly commentary on the underbelly of celebrity culture, this truly original book is basically uncategorizable—blissfully so." --Elle.com

"Wonderful and incisive, A Thousand and One Nights tells us in a new way what it means to be young and American. Tupper casts a keen, intelligent eye on the contemporary world, its multitude of fakeries and deceits, providing us with a witty, poignant, wholly worthwhile read."— Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout

"This is a moving and accomplished first novel.”
--National Book Award finalist Jim Shepard

(For more reviews, please see REVIEWS link to the left.)