The coming of age story is a narrative we’re never bored by, especially when it takes place in always-exciting ever-evolving NYC. Stephanie Danler’s debut novel, Sweetbitter, is a beach-ready book that pulls our minds into the magical bewilderment of moving to the big apple – youthful ambition in tow – and learning to turn dreams into reality. This addictive read also taps into the wisdom that can come from those growing pains. Based off the emotional experience of Danler’s own creative learning curve, Sweetbitter is an authentic, edgy and entertaining story … and we’re seriously obsessed.

We caught up with this talented young author to chat about Sweetbitter (grab a copy here!) and to discuss the ups and downs of the writing process (and life, just because). Here’s Danler on the complicated reality of pursuing a passion, weird productivity tips and the best advice she’s ever received…

My passion project:

Besides talking about Sweetbitter, my debut novel, I’m obsessed with getting people to read poetry.

My book in 4 words:

Food, sex, wine, NYC.

The lowest point:

Writing the middle third of the novel, when I could see the ending but had no idea how to get there. During that time I was also thirty years old, divorced, broke and living in a sublet with seven other people. I had no idea if I would ever publish the book, but I really had no choice but to keep going.

The highest point:

Writing the acknowledgements – getting to express my overwhelming gratitude.

Best advice I ever received:

Make it new.

Favorite writing spots in NYC:

I like a really academic library: bad lighting, with students half my age drinking Red Bull and eating chips. But mostly I write from bed, imagining that I’m like Proust, or an extremely lazy person.

Weirdest productivity tip:

Dancing. Don’t underestimate how important it is to move when you’re sitting all day. I take a mid-day day break, if I’m in a private space where I won’t offend people. Lots of walks, lots of running – anything to move your blood.

What I'd tell myself 5 years ago:

Trust your instincts; you actually know what you’re doing.

Bottom banner image
From our friends