Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

A Novel

By Kathleen Rooney

Narrated by Xe Sands
8 hours 50 minutes

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Library Journal Editors' Pick

It’s the last day of 1984, and 85-year-old Lillian Boxfish is about to take a walk.

As she traverses a grittier Manhattan, a city anxious after an attack by a still-at-large subway vigilante, she encounters bartenders, bodega clerks, chauffeurs, security guards, bohemians, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be—in surprising moments of generosity and grace. While she strolls, Lillian recalls a long and eventful life that included a brief reign as the highest-paid advertising woman in America—a career cut short by marriage, motherhood, divorce, and a breakdown.

A love letter to city life—however shiny or sleazy—Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic; the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop. This audiobook includes an interview with the the author, Kathleen Rooney, and the narrator, Xe Sands.

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Easily the best gadding-around-town novel since Dawn Powell and Dorothy Parker.

Daniel Handler, Author of Why We Broke Up

About the Author

Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, and a founding member of Poems While You Wait, a team of poets and their typewriters who compose commissioned poetry on demand. She teaches English and Creative Writing at DePaul University and is the author of eight books of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, including the novel O, Democracy! (Fifth Star Press, 2014) and the novel in poems Robinson Alone (Gold Wake Press, 2012). With Eric Plattner, she is the co-editor of René Magritte: Selected Writings (University of Minnesota Press, 2016 and Alma Books, 2016). A winner of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from Poetry magazine, her reviews and criticism have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times Magazine, The Rumpus, The Nation the Poetry Foundation website and elsewhere. She lives in Chicago with her spouse, the writer Martin Seay, and her second novel, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, was published by St. Martin’s Press.

Related Reading

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Extraordinary…hilarious…Elegantly written, Rooney creates a glorious paean to a distant literary life and time―and an unabashed celebration of human connections that bridge past and future.

Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed)

Prescient and quick....A perfect fusing of subject and writer, idea and ideal.

Chicago Tribune


Xe Sands


8 hours 50 minutes


Macmillan Audio

Publication Date


  • I thought at times that poetry might be an elegant way of screaming.
  • The point of living in the world is just to stay interested.
  • If you love something, know that it will leave on a day you are far from ready.

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