Pounding the Pavement
By Jennifer Van Der Kwast
(Broadway, Hardcover, 9780767919531, 288pp.)
Publication Date: June 28, 2005
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Sarah Pelletier is unemployed and in a very bad mood. Her film company has tanked—right before Christmas, no less—leaving her with one lousy swivel chair and a lifetime supply of paper clips. Her headhunter is a fool who can’t pronounce her name; her irritatingly gorgeous roommate’s idea of a fun time is to drag her to pink-slip parties; and, to top it all off, her last twelve bucks are trapped in a Metro Card. Something has got to give.
So begins one smart twentysomething’s quest for the right job in New York City. After extricating herself from a morass of self-pity strewn with candy bar wrappers and wine bottles, Sarah turns to the all-important task of padding her résumé—while artfully dodging her parents’ attempts to bribe her into law school. Of course, padding your résumé puts you in jeopardy of being construed as over-qualified. In which case you might try unpadding your résumé, which then puts you in danger of being labeled inexperienced. Which leaves you with the option of stalking your ex-boss in the hope that she’ll drag you along in her ascent to greatness in another company. Unless she stabs you in the back first. Meanwhile, when a temp job saddles her with a massive crush on a Brooklyn-dwelling dreamboat named Jake, Sarah’s already full plate is crowded with lust, jealousy, and mild obsession, just when she’s trying to be professional.
This hilarious first novel from a confident new voice in women’s fiction offers a pitch-perfect take on the dignity-whittling survival game of job hunting—starring a lovably neurotic heroine whose problems ring refreshingly true.
Like her heroine, JENNIFER VAN DER KWAST is in her midtwenties and has worked at a variety of film companies: The Shooting Gallery, Columbia TriStar, Plexifilms, Paramount, and New Line Cinema. She is a graduate of Dartmouth University. Pounding the Pavement is her first novel.
"Ms. van der Kwast manages to elevate her version of chick lit by adding cleverness and social observation."
—The Wall Street Journal
“Great fun! For anyone whose life didn’t pan out exactly as she'd planned in high school.”
—Robyn Harding, Author of THE JOURNAL OF MORTIFYING MOMENTS
“Sarah Pelletier is looking for the Right One — the right job, that is! Those who empathized with Kinsella’s Shopaholic will feel for Sarah Pelletier as she navigates the world of dodgy interviews and bizarre temp jobs, armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of film and an infinitely variable resume. With a knack for an apt analogy, van der Kwast paints the plight of the liberal arts major in search of a job with painful accuracy.”
—Lauren Willig, Author of THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE PINK CARNATION
“Jennifer van der Kwast’s debut novel captures the cruel and intoxicating lure of single life in Manhattan with originality and wit. Painfully funny, Pounding the Pavement will leave you laughing out loud.”
—Karen Quinn, Author of THE IVY CHRONICLES
“Pounding the Pavement is a clever, funny novel that takes you for a walk on the ridiculous side of two of life’s big challenges. If you’ve ever had a nightmarish boss or a lousy date, this book is for you.”
—Delphine Hirsh, Author of THE GIRLS’ GUIDE TO SURVIVING A BREAKUP
“A funny, witty look at one woman’s tireless search for a job, a soul mate, and most of all, herself. A terrific debut!”
—Alison Pace, Author of IF ANDY WARHOL HAD A GIRLFRIEND