Search Loading suggestions...

Happy Hour

UK Publisher: Verso
US Publisher: Flying Books

With the verve and bite of My Year of Rest and Relaxation and the wisecracking sensibility of a golden-age Hollywood heroine, Marlowe Granados’s stunning début brilliantly captures a summer of striving in New York City.

Refreshing and wry in equal measure, Happy Hour is an intoxicating novel of youth well spent.

Isa Epley is twenty-one years old and wise enough to understand that the purpose of life is the pursuit of pleasure. In her diary she chronicles her New York City adventure during the sweltering summer of 2013. By day, Isa and her best friend, Gala, sell clothes in a market stall, pinching pennies for their Bed-Stuy sublet and bodega lunches. By night, they weave from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side among a rotating cast of celebrities, artists, and bad-mannered grifters. Money runs ever tighter and the strain tests their friendship as they try to convert their social capital into something more lasting. Through it all, Isa’s bold, beguiling voice captures the precise thrill of cultivating a life of glamour and intrigue as she juggles paying her dues with skipping out on the bill.

Happy Hour announces a dazzling new talent in Marlowe Granados, whose exquisite wit recalls Anita Loos’s 1925 classic, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, updated to evoke a recent, golden period of hope and transformation. A cri de cœur for party girls and anyone who has ever felt entitled to an adventure of their own, Happy Hour is an effervescent tonic for the ails of contemporary life.


“Granados crafts a picaresque of art galleries, SoHo lofts, and Hamptons mansions, deftly satirizing the wealthy without denying the value of what wealth can buy” – The New Yorker

“Confident, charismatic and alive to the pleasure of observation, the voice Granados conjures in Happy Hour is a testament to the power of charm on the page.” – Molly Fischer, New York Times

Happy Hour is a picaresque for the glamorous and broke.” – Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz, Vulture

“Marlowe Granados writes with a delicious joy and confidence. She conveys frivolity without being frivolous, and describes the adventures and degradations of the lives of her characters with an intelligent distance and effervescence that is such a pleasure to read.” – Sheila Heti

“Reading Happy Hour feels like eating a shimmering, intoxicating slice of the best summer of your life, a sort of Proustian cookie that transports you back not to your childhood but to the time when you looked best in cut-off shorts and felt like your heart was made of rubber.”– Alexandra Kleeman, Electric Literature

“Marlowe Granados’s Happy Hour is as refreshing as a gin fizz. It is a wild careening joyride through a hot sultry summer in New York in 2013, and it evokes that time with such sparkling specificity that you can feel the heat coming off the pavement.” – Rachel Syme, New Yorker staff writer

“A dreamy account of one heady summer, Marlowe Granados’s début is a dispatch from another land; not only New York City, but youth itself. Happy Hour is aptly titled–it’s an intoxicating book, at once heartbreaking and joyful.” – Rumaan Alam, author of Leave the World Behind

“Amusingly mischievous … a new age of innocence.” – Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“Like the many cocktails sipped by our discerning narrator: effervescent, tart, and intoxicating.” – Kirkus (Starred Review)