I Was Told There'd Be Cake

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Wry, hilarious, and profoundly genuine, this debut collection of literary essays from Sloane Crosley is a celebration of fallibility and haplessness in all their glory.

From despoiling an exhibit at the Natural History Museum to provoking the ire of her first boss to siccing the cops on her mysterious neighbor, Crosley can do no right despite the best of intentions -- or perhaps because of them. Together, these essays create a startlingly funny and revealing portrait of a complex and utterly recognizable character who aims for the stars but hits the ceiling, and the inimitable city that has helped shape who she is. I Was Told There'd Be Cake introduces a strikingly original voice, chronicling the struggles and unexpected beauty of modern urban life.

Sloane Crosley is another mordant and mercurial wit from the realm of Sedaris and Vowell. What makes her so funny is that she seems to be telling the truth, helplessly.
—Jonathan Lethem

Charming, elegant, wise, and comedic, these essays absolutely sparkle and entertain. Sloane Crosley is a twenty-first century Dorothy Parker, and this book is a gem and heralds a wry new voice in American letters. Gorgeous writing, outrageous humor—it’s all here!
—Jonathan Ames

Whether you’re involved in a love/hate relationship with just yourself or with the entire world, these essays will charm the pants off you—but not so as you’ll feel violated. Sloane Crosley is bright and funny and enchanting. This is a sparking debut.
—Meghan Daum

Hilarious and affecting and only occasionally scatological, I Was Told There’d Be Cake is lively reminiscence about growing up strange. Sardonic without being cruel, tender without being sentimental, Sloane Crosley will win you over with this delightful debut.
—Colson Whitehead

I Was Told There'd Be Cake begins with a hilarious first sentence, and gets funnier from there.
—Andy Borowitz

Three dioramas were made for three of the essays in I Was Told There'd Be Cake, each room within them depicting pivotal moments in the essay. Click image for behind-the-scenes diorama construction!

Three dioramas were made for three of the essays in I Was Told There'd Be Cake, each room within them depicting pivotal moments in the essay. Click image for behind-the-scenes diorama construction!

Book trailer for I Was Told There'd Be Cake

Praise for I Was Told There’d Be Cake:

“Crosley’s book [is] a welcome departure from the increasingly tired genre of first-person prose as stand-up comedy. Unlike David Sedaris (I went to Anne Frank’s house and all I got was real-estate lust!) and other hugely successful practitioners, Crosley forces herself up against not her exquisite selfishness but some ideal she’s grasping for—female camaraderie, neighborliness, sanity. She’s also got a sharp fizzily old-fashioned sense of the madcap that, in the best pieces, has you thinking that she’s figured out how to cross Mary Tyler Moore with Kingsley Amis—as well as wondering, now that she’s updates the role of ingénue by concocting a bracing cocktail of credulity and crankiness, what she might be able to do with a novel.” —Elle Magazine

“Sloane Crosley asserts herself as a new master of non-fiction situational comedy in I Was Told There’d Be Cake.” —Entertainment Weekly

“[Crosley] is ironic, droll and self-pillorying and, like Sedaris, she manages to balance passages that are laugh-out-loud funny with others that are both touching and resonant. Above all Crosley manages, Midas-like, to take the minutiae of her life — and all of our lives — and turn it into gold.” —The Seattle Times

“Sloane’s is a generous, sparkling hilarity…By the end of the book, the flirtation has worked, and you’re left desperate for more.” —Newsday

“You’ll feel as though you’re sitting with her at a café, breathlessly waiting to hear what she’s going to tell you next.” —People

“Although the stories are set in New York, Crosley’s plights are universally relatable and described in a voice that’s supremely witty and genuine.” Daily Candy

“With piquant prose, Crosley brings bite to reminiscences of a comfortable childhood in suburban White Plains, N.Y., and her salad days in Manhattan…[she’s] that smart, sardonic friend who homes in on the ridiculous aspects of any situation and amplifies them to maximum hilarity.” —The Minneapolis Star Tribune