A dazzling debut set in modern-day New York, The Little Clan is a sharp, insightful look at friendship and finding yourself in your twenties
Ava Gallanter is the librarian in residence at the Lazarus Club, an ancient, dwindling Manhattan arts club full of eccentric geriatric residents stuck in a long-gone era. Twenty-five-year-old Ava, however, feels right at home. She leads a quiet life, surrounded by her beloved books and sequestered away from her peers. When Ava’s enigmatic friend Stephanie returns after an unplanned year abroad, the intoxicating opportunist vows to rescue Ava from a life of obscurity. Stephanie, on the hunt for fame and fortune, promises to make Ava’s dream of becoming a writer come true, and together they start a literary salon at the Lazarus Club. However, Ava’s romanticized idea of the salon quickly erodes as Stephanie’s ambitions take the women in an unexpected—and precarious—direction.
In this humorous yet insightful coming-of-age story, Cohen deftly balances an interrogation of big ideas with an expertly constructed comedy of manners. With eloquent prose and affecting storytelling, The Little Clan is at once a love letter to literature and a deft exploration of what it means to be young and full of hope in New York.