Photo of Julia Pierpont via Shiva Rouhani
One of the many books published this summer is Julia Pierpont’s “Among the Ten Thousand Things.” Her debut novel tells the story of an Upper West Side family–parents Jack and Deb and kids Simon and Kay–following the discovery of infidelity. Published earlier this month by Random House, it’s received plenty of praise, including a rave review in the New York Times.
Julia, who is in her late 20s, grew up on the Upper West Side and currently resides in Brooklyn. She went a few blocks north to attend Barnard College and then went downtown to to NYU’s M.F.A. program, where she began writing the book. The story is peppered with lines New Yorkers will relate to, especially anyone who spent their childhood in Manhattan. “There were things you learned early, growing up in the city, and there things you learned late, or not at all,” she writes, exploring the idea of what city kids gain, but also what they lack in comparison to their suburban counterparts. Then there are her descriptions. One line that seems particularly fitting given the temperature reads, “Central air seemed the greatest of suburban luxuries. It was like living inside a Duane Reade.”
Before she did a reading in Oxford, Mississippi, we spoke with Julia to find out about her life in New York and what role it played in “Among the Ten Thousand Things.”