10/09/2018 - 7:30pm
Simon van Booy Sadness of Beautiful Things

Over the past decade, the British-born but Brooklyn-based Simon Van Booy has been collecting stories. Starting with these anecdotes told to him by strangers, he has woven The Sadness of Beautiful Things together with graceful prose and a keen eye for character. The result is a set of vivid, almost otherworldly stories set in New York City, Ireland, and Britain, that feature muggers, musicians, hitchhikers, and parents battling depression. In each of them, Van Booy shines an unwavering light onto the darkness of human longing, suffering, and grief. In “The Doorman,” during her first-ever show, a blind piano player finds an unexpected connection with a Chinese-American jazz legend. Van Booy chronicles a couple’s heartbreak of losing a child in “Playing with Dolls,” using the fantastical elements of artificial intelligence. During “Not Dying,” the 28-part tour de force, a father wakes up to a radio broadcast warning of an impending apocalypse, leaving him to watch over his sleeping wife and daughter and ruminate on the purpose of their quiet life.

At times dark but always illuminating, The Sadness of Beautiful Things is a hauntingly beautiful collection of dispatches from the heart. Van Booy’s beautiful meditations on memory capture the drama of the seemingly mundane and reveal how the echoes of personal tragedy can shape us for the better.


Simon Van Booy is the award-winning and best-selling author of seven books of fiction and three anthologies of philosophy. He has written for the New York Times, the Financial Times, NPR, and the BBC. His books have been translated into many languages. He lives in New York with his wife and daughter. In 2013, he founded Writers for Children, a project which helps young people build confidence in their storytelling abilities through annual awards.

The Sadness of Beautiful Things: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143133049
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - October 2nd, 2018

An exquisite new collection of short stories from award-winning author Simon Van Booy.

$5 admission to this event at our Brooklyn store. Your $5 voucher can be used towards anything in store, including The Sadness of Beautiful Things. Please note that if you purchase a copy of the book from WORD that there is no need to purchase a voucher.