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The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

November 11, 2014

“And you’d thank everyone for coming. We all raise a glass to Maya.
Everyone goes home happy.” “So it’s basically a book party.” “Yeah, sure.”  Lambiase has never been to a book party. “I hate book parties,” A.J. says.  “But you run a bookstore,” Lambiase says. “It’s a problem,” A.J. admits.

—from The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Book parties aren’t the only thing A.J. Fikry hates. He is not fond of book blurbs, summer people, ghostwriters, children’s books (or children, for that matter), celebrity picturebooks, “…’postmodernisms, postapocalyptic settings, postmortem narrators, or magic realism … and… this goes without saying, vampires’”. He does not like how much he drinks (that is, too much), or the frozen Vindaloo entrees and the loneliness that accompany them. And since his wife died, he has hated the work of being what he is, a bookseller on a small New England island.

Despite his closely held list of professed dislikes, Gabrielle Zevin’s A.J. F…