Bright, Precious Days
Bright, Precious Days is Jay McInerney’s third novel featuring Russell and Corrine Calloway. The first, Brightness Falls, introduced them as young marrieds newly arrived in New York City in the 1980s; the second, The Good Life, picked them up during the 9/11 crisis; and this one finds them in early middle age, when the crises are personal, not social. Russell, an independent book publisher, is struggling to keep his young business alive and maintain the family’s lifestyle, while Corrine, the director of a nonprofit that serves the hungry poor, is having an affair with a former lover. As always in McInerney’s novels, the city is itself a major character, full of witty and creative but often unreliable and addicted people. It’s also expensive. The Calloways aren’t nearly as wealthy as most of their friends, and they are about to lose their TriBeCa loft—even as Russell stakes the future of his business on a talented but erratic young author and Corrine decides whether to leave the marriage.