Author(s): Amor Towles
In a jazz bar on the last night of 1937, watching a quartet because she couldn't afford to see the whole ensemble, there were certain things Katey Kontent knew: the location of every old church in Manhattan how to sneak into the cinema how to type eighty words a minute, five thousand an hour, and nine million a year and that if you can still lose yourself in the first chapter of a Dickens novel then everything is probably going to be fine. By the end of the year she'd learned: how to launch a paper airplane high over Park Avenue how to live like a redhead how to insist upon the very best that the word 'yes' can be a poison and the Rules of Civility. That's how quickly New York City comes about - like a weathervane - or the head of a cobra. Time tells which.