I Was Told There'd Be Cake

Sloane Crosley

Published: 1 August 2008
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 240 pages
ISBN: 9781846271854


From getting locked out of her flat twice on the same day and being fired for baking a giant cookie in the shape of her boss's head, to playing bridesmaid for a friend she'd long forgotten, Sloane Crosley can do no right, despite the best of intentions. With sharp, original and irresistible storytelling that confounds expectations at every turn, Crosley recounts her victories and catastrophes, finding uproarious comedy and genuine insights in the most unpredictable places.

About the author

Image of Sloane Crosley

Sloane Crosley's work has appeared in the New York Times, the New York Observer, the Village Voice, GQ, Playboy Magazine and numerous other literary journals and websites. In her free time, she serves as a publicist at Vintage Books. She is the author of two books of essays, the word-of-mouth bestselling I Was Told There'd Be Cake and How Did You Get This Number. More about the author


‘[I]t was a pleasure to come across this, enterprisingly plucked from across the Atlantic by rather groovy publishers Portobello. As I have commented before it is the job of a good writer to familiarise readers with modes of experience quite alien to them, and I Was Told There'd Be Cake does that’ Nicholas Lezard



‘Buy Sloane Crosley's I Was Told There'd Be Cake - a collection of essays cataloguing her life in New York. It's had me laughing out loud on the tube four days in a row (some sort of record) ... Not strictly fashion but it will make you look very on-trend’ Community blog

‘Crosley channels David Sedaris - and Carrie Bradshaw - in a slightly cracked and often charming collection of essays recounting a suburban girl's adventures in the big city’

‘Crosley's odd vignettes manage to intelligently capture the very precise aspects of what it means to be a young adult, fumbling around, trying to make something of life. Because she writes so sharply and brightly, Crosley reflects those experiences and turns them into something cool ... I only hope that Crosley is right now mining her childhood memories for more stories of lunacy, loneliness and mind-boggling ineptitude’ Rebecca Seal

‘I love Sloane Crosley. She's a postmodern Mary Tyler Moore, and this book is wry, generous, knowing - a perfect document of what it is to be young in today's world’ A. M. Homes

‘In these quirky essays, Sloane Crosley wryly depicts her twentysomething life as she searches for an identity, moving from comfortable childhood into the faltering steps of early adulthood’ Anita Sethi

‘Laugh-out-loud non-fiction collection, from the 30-year-old New York author everyone is calling the new Dorothy Parker’ Viv Groskop

‘Sloane Crosley is a mordant and mercurial wit. What makes her so funny is that she seems to be telling the truth, helplessly’ Jonathan Lethem

‘Sloane Crosley is an entertaining minx ... [H]er way of fusing acute observations with self-deprecation evokes an imaginative life much richer and odder than the professional kookstresses we're used to from Sex and the City ... her pictures of Manhattan life are a rich mine of clever quirky delights. Her restless, big-hearted take on her world is well worth reading and, like all columnists, she's fascinated by what she can make of her own responses. It's not always entirely comfortable, but Crosley's analysis is never judgemental’ Tina Jackson

‘Sloane Crosley would make a brilliant best friend. And reading her book of essays, I Was Told There'd Be Cake, is very much like sitting down with her for a gossip, listening to a very funny girl tell very funny stories. Crosley is a New Yorker in her late twenties - clever, Jewish, single, with a keen eye and a mordant wit. All the essays in the book will bring a smile’ Francesca Segal

‘That most unsung of literary heroes, the book publicist, has found a new champion ... I Was Told There'd Be Cake ... is a winsome kiss-and-tell which draws on Crosley's years in the publishing bearpit’

‘The voice feels a little like Nora Ephron's, a little like Dorothy Parker's and David Sedaris's, although Crosley has a spry wistfulness that's very much her own. We applaud the arrival of a very funny writer’

‘These autobiographical essays have just been optioned by HBO, the TV channel that brought us Sex and the City, but don't be fooled: they're altogether smarter, tarter fare’ Hephzibah Anderson

‘This witty collection of anecdotes from the Big Apple ... holds its head up among the competition thanks to Crosley's self-deprecating charm and eye for wry detail ... Crosley is at her best when unleashing her inner bitch. I can't wait for the literary memoirs’ Ruth Warbuton

‘Wittier than a convention of Woody Allen impersonators, and considerably more attractive, Sloane ... is a sassy, snappy New York girl with a good line in both withering condescension and touching uncertainty’ James Smith

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