She took 1930s New York by storm, working her way up writing copy for R.H. Macy's to become the highest-paid advertising woman in the country. It was a job that, she says, "in some ways saved my life, and in other ways ruined it."
Now it's the last night of 1984 and Lillian, eighty-five years old but just as sharp and savvy as ever, is on her way to a party. It's chilly enough for her mink coat, and Manhattan is grittier now-her son keeps warning her about a subway vigilante on the prowl-but the quick-tongued poetess has never been one to scare easily. On a walk that takes her more than ten miles around the city, she meets bartenders, bodega clerks, security guards, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be, while reviewing a life of excitement and adversity, passion and heartbreak, illuminating all the ways New York has changed-and has not.
A love letter to city life, the book paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic, the Great Depression to the birth of the hip-hop. Lillian figures she might as well take her time. For now, after all, the night is still young.