9½ Narrow

My Life in Shoes

Shoes tell compelling stories, and Patricia Morrisroe, a longtime shoe lover, has a vivid memory of the confirmation “wedgies” that celebrated her entrance to adulthood; the granny boots that marked her first love; the ostrich flats she wore to a girlfriend’s funeral; and the New Balance sneakers she bought her elderly mother who was losing her balance and too proud to use a cane.

Weaving anecdotes with tidbits of cultural history, Morrisroe offers an insightful memoir on the zeitgeist of the shoe through the decades, as well as hilarious portraits of the unforgettable characters who shared her journey. There’s the classic “mean girl” in Catholic school brogues; the Woody Allen–type boyfriend who fell in love with her Annie Hall oxfords, and the husband whose vast collection of vintage Puma sneakers threatened to overwhelm their apartment and derail their marriage. Morrisroe wrote about several of these memorable personalities in a popular Modern Love column for the New York Times and in several essays for Vogue. In 91⁄2 Narrow, Morrisroe expands her meditations, offering a witty and poignant “memoir in shoes” that will delight and inspire women of all ages.

9 ½ Narrow is an utterly charming — I might say fleet-footed — memoir about entering life with big (but narrow!) feet and bigger dreams.  Patricia Morrisroe depicts the agonies of growing up as a born sophisticate in a Catholic family and a small town with an enviable lightness of touch — and a comic’s sense of timing.  It is hard to read this book without laughing — or occasionally grimacing — in recognition at the truth of an observation or situation, leaving you wondering how someone else has figured out exactly how you feel about everything from getting a bad perm to Bergdorf’s shoe department.
Daphne MerkinAuthor of The Fame Lunches

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