Table of Contents
“Smart and witty.”
“A delightful romp! Dry and breezy wit . . . a delightful, funny read for pugs and humans alike.”
—Wilson the Pug with Nancy Levine, authors of
The Tao of Pug
is all at once touching, witty, and so very smart. I love this nervous and self-deprecating narrator who makes low self-esteem not only funny and endearing but enviable. There’s a terrific comedic eye at work here and a tender heart—a most satisfying combination.”
—Elinor Lipman, author of
My Latest Grievance
“Playful, funny . . .Pug Hill
is the story of a woman confronting her fears and the adorable pooches that can help her do it.”
“Pitch-perfect and deftly written . . . a funny, charming, and touching novel.”
—Robin Epstein and Renée Kaplan, coauthors of
Shaking Her Assets
“Alison Pace isn’t afraid to tackle serious subjects, even as she delivers a wry and witty portrait of growing up and growing into herself at long last.”
—Joshilyn Jackson, author of
Gods in Alabama
“To paraphrase Woody Allen, love is too weak a word to describe how I feel about this novel. I loove it!”
—Melissa Senate, author of
See Jane Date
If Andy Warhol Had a Girlfriend
If Andy Warhol Had a Girlfriend
is pure, guilt-free pleasure. When you’re not laughing your head off, you’re in the middle of a remarkably honest and heartfelt story about a woman who has to find love inside herself before she can find it outside.”
—Joseph Weisberg, author of
“Alison Pace takes us on a whirlwind transcontinental journey (first-class, of course) with a loveable main character who, amid the crazy world of abstract art, discovers a little inspiration of her own.”
—Jennifer O’Connell, author of
Off the Record
“A funny, feel-good fairy tale set improbably in the high-powered international art world.If Andy Warhol Had a Girlfriend
will give hope to the most relationship-weary heart.”
—Pam Houston, author of
“A poignant and very funny look at the dating life of a fictional New York gal.”
—The Washington Post
“This book is GENIUS! I stayed up all night laughing hyena-style.”
—Jill Kargman, coauthor of
Wolves in Chic Clothing
“Art lovers, dog lovers—even EX-lovers—will love this fun, funny book.”
—Beth Kendrick, author of
Also by Alison Pace
IF ANDY WARHOL HAD A GIRLFRIEND PUG HILL
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This book is an original publication of The Berkley Publishing Group.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
Copyright © 2007 by Alison Pace
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions. BERKLEY is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. The “B” design is a trademark belonging to Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
“Berkley trade paperback”—T.p. verso.
eISBN : 978-1-101-04370-7
to my sister
For the myriad and vast ways in which they contributed to this book, many, many thanks go to Susan Allison, Joe Veltre, Jessica Wade, Lisa Mondello, Leslie Gelbman, all the great people at Berkley Books, Sarah Swidler, David Corcoran, Andrea Strong, Joanna Schwartz, Cynthia Zabel, Jennifer Geller, Christine Ciampa, Robin Epstein, Sarah Melinger, Lynda Curnyn, Wendy Tufano, Mom and Dad, and of course, Carlie.
get into the zone!
It wasn’t always like this,
Meredith thinks, as different towns—towns she has never been to and, truth be told, has no great interest in ever going to—all pass by, all in a blur. If you don’t pay attention to it though, anything can be a blur. Can’t it? Can’t all of New Jersey be a blur, just like all the houses passed by, and the picket fences? And then, maybe even the distance, and the marriages, and the babies. They could be a blur, too. Except, actually, the babies don’t seem to know how. Babies, though so soft by their very nature, refuse to be a blur. They are sharp and in focus, solid, completely and utterly defined. They leave everything else, everything less important swirling around them.
But, right, yes.
Meredith tries to go back a few steps in her thoughts, to make it so that they, her thoughts, don’t branch out in the ever forward-thinking way they have always liked to do. She tries not to think about blurs, and suburbs, and the babies who bring people here. And she tries not to think the thought that is bound to come next, the one that is not going to crown her “World’s Best Aunt.” She is, she imagines, not the best aunt. But maybe that’s just because she’s so new at it. Maybe all she needs is more time. It’s only been six months after all. Could be that in the seventh month, or even the eighth (the eighth would be okay, too), she’ll be better at it. It’s not that she doesn’t love her still-new niece, Ivy, because she does, she just feels so completely removed. From Ivy. From Stephanie. From all of it. She thinks that it might have a lot to do with New Jersey. She thinks that so much these days, that it, all of it, might have a lot to do with New Jersey.
Right as the train approaches the Ridgewood station, right as the announcer is earnestly and helpfully, though also more or less unintelligibly, reminding her to gather her belongings and to double-check that she hasn’t left anything behind, Meredith finds herself back at her initial thought. She thinks again,
it wasn’t always like this.
And it really wasn’t.
She gets up and gathers her things; she does not double-check for her belongings. Meredith is tired of earnest and helpful suggestions that fall under the category of What She Should Do Next. She stares down at her feet, at her more functional than stylish Nikes, the type of sneakers that a person would run in, if she were so inclined to run. If running didn’t make her knees hurt, her lower back ache, didn’t always put her in mind of an overweight hamster on a never-ending Habitrail wheel of despair. If only running made her feel as if she were leaving all her troubles behind, if a journey once around the reservoir in Central Park made her feel as if she were on a path toward the ever-elusive adjectives,
slender, thin, fit
would do), she could use these very sneakers.
She keeps her gaze fixed on the sneakers as she steps off the train, over the subtly scary space between the train and the platform. Subtle, because it would in fact be quite difficult, would actually take some maneuvering, to really fall down to the tracks. Scary, because even though it would take some doing, you could get down there. And then she looks up, and right as she does, she sees Stephanie waving.
“Meres! Over here,” Stephanie calls out. Meredith waves back and smiles. She smiles mostly at the “Meres,” because it’s only Stephanie who ever calls her that. She hitches her bag, a cream-colored canvas tote with navy blue handles and a logo from the Aspen Food Festival, higher on her shoulder and quickens her pace. Stephanie is half-hidden, well, slightly less than half-hidden, behind Ivy’s stroller—one of those bright green Froggy things that Meredith has learned from Stephanie are very important. And she’s sure Ivy must be in it somewhere, swaddled under all those blankets, and as she gets closer, she can see a little pink fleece hat sticking up. She wonders, with all the swaddling, why Stephanie didn’t just wait for her in the car. And then, she sees that standing next to Stephanie, there is another. Another with a Froggy stroller, too.