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Seeking 'The Good Life' in Post-9/11 New York

Feb 6, 2006 (Fresh Air)

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The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, forced many Americans to reshape their lives. For New Yorkers whose plans and priorities were cast loose, the shocking losses were followed by the challenge of what to do next. That dilemma is at the heart of Jay McInerney's The Good Life.

Set in Manhattan, the novel relays the stories of a group of New Yorkers whose sense of identity and community is shaken, and ultimately strengthened, in the days following the terrorist attacks.

What emerges are stories of new possibility and determination, replete with the details of modern living that McInerney is an expert at capturing.

McInerney is also the author of the novels Bright Lights, Big City, Brightness Falls, and The Last of the Savages. In each of those books, McInerney's stories reflected the zeitgeist of the time, from the heady party days of Manhattan in the 1980s to the clash of idealism and money in America of the 1990s.

McInerney is currently on a promotional tour, giving readings from The Good Life around the country. And in a rare move, the author's tour has its own podcast, in which McInerney relays stories from Houston and other stops on the road.

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