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Coffee @ Ralph's: Sloane Crosley

The essayist turned novelist on her debut novel, her policy on 4 a.m. pizza, and the career benefits of getting locked out of your apartment

With her award-winning essay collections, How Did You Get This Number and I Was Told There’d Be Cake, Sloane Crosley earned a rep as one of the most talented—and hilarious—observers of human foibles to come along in a while. We’ll stop short of calling her the voice of her generation, or even the voice of a generation, to quote a certain HBO program concerning young women in New York City, but if you haven’t read her work, a trip to your local bookstore is in order. Especially now that Crosley has taken her talents to the fiction aisle, with her first novel, The Clasp. The story of three college friends who reunite, on the cusp of their 30s, for a wedding in Miami and end up in Europe on the hunt for a missing necklace (hence the title), it’s part comedy of manners and part international caper. The Clasp is also highly literate and—as expected—laugh-out-loud funny (“The Goonies written by Lorrie Moore,” as Gary Shteyngart put it in what has to be the best blurb of 2015).

Here, the NYC-based novelist talks about her inspiration, how she got her start, and the risk of humor without heart. But first, naturally, a word about Lena Dunham.
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  • ALL PHOTOGRAPHS BY WESTON WELLS