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Leap Days by Katherine Lanpher

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Review Excerpts

Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO) –December 1, 2006
“The story line is simple: Midwestern girl leaves her comfortable home for a new, risky job on the national scene and the streets of Manhattan. But here's the twist: It all happened at age 44… Lanpher's descriptions of life in the Midwest will touch the heart of anyone who's ever lived there… And she contrasts those memories with the new-found wonders of shopping at Newmarket in Union Square; watching the snow fall on Manhattan for the first time; us-ing the Empire State Building as her new North Star… Lanpher's story is funny, sad and insightful, all at once. She leaves us wondering what her next chapter holds.”
-- Sandra Fish

People Magazine (Critic’s Choice, Four Stars) – October 16, 2006
“This spirited collection… What the midlife adventurer brings with her are warm memories of her childhood in St. Paul (which she shares in several essays), a love for people and a reporter's eye for the theater of public life… Lanpher quickly grasps the art-versus-reality question that is endemic to Manhattan… With its quirky observations and self-deprecating humor, Lanpher's inspiring story is about an eagerness to immerse herself in other cultures -a newsroom, a new city- and emerge intact and enriched. High flying, indeed.”
-- Bethanne Patrick

New York Times Book Review – October 10, 2006
“In the age of Botox and “60 is the new 40” hype, few of us seem to be thinking of the future in finite terms. But just shy of her 45th birthday, Katherine Lanpher does the math… Lanpher is best as a chronicler of intangible things, fleeting moments and thoughts that are penetratingly familiar… It’s hard not to warm to her transparency (at one point she even attempts to confide marriage woes to her French mother-in-law)… Lanpher’s loving descriptions of Minnesota make it seem that perhaps New York was a mistake… How refreshing that her experience is transformative and illuminating but doesn’t wind up as a neatly wrapped package of self-realization.”
-- Eve Conant

Kirkus – June 15, 2006
“Initially, these essays have a somewhat predictable tone; she is, to all New Yorkers she meets, from cab drivers and deli countermen to cold-staring strangers, the stereotypical out-of-towner, little lost farm girl in the concrete jungle, etc… But behind her wit and perspective, Lanpher rallies; she’ll learn how to act, how to dress, how to talk like a native and properly scorn the tourists. Forcing its way into the picture, however, is some serious introspection, about her failed marriage, about her childlessness (she wonders, by choice?). Finally, after two years, she finds herself “going home” on a subway in Manhattan. Tempting fare for anyone who’s ever wondered: Who am I and how did I get here?”

Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) – June 12, 2006
“Lanpher, a journalist, spins cultural vertigo into comedy after forsaking her native Midwest for New York in 2004, at age 44, to cohost Al Franken’s radio show on Air America—a gig that demands the good-natured wit and epigrammatic aplomb on display here… But Lanpher finds kindness in the crowds, and her zingers (often flung at her own expense) render her narration upbeat. Though her name is linked with liberalism, her memoir’s focus is more personal than political: a reflection on midlife’s transition and a cultural comedy of manners, as she marks the rituals of becoming a ‘true New Yorker,’ growing savvy about everything from the corner bodega to the wheel-greasing ‘baksheesh.’”

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