A novel by Hilary Leichter
March 3, 2020 • 5.5 x 8.25 • 208 pages • 978-1-56689-566-8
Eighteen boyfriends, twenty-three jobs, and one ghost who occasionally pops in to give advice: Temporary casts a hilarious and tender eye toward the struggle for happiness under late capitalism.
In Temporary, a young woman’s workplace is the size of the world. She fills increasingly bizarre placements in search of steadiness, connection, and something, at last, to call her own. Whether it’s shining an endless closet of shoes, swabbing the deck of a pirate ship, assisting an assassin, or filling in for the Chairman of the Board, for the mythical Temporary, “there is nothing more personal than doing your job.”
This riveting quest, at once hilarious and profound, will resonate with anyone who has ever done their best at work, even when the work is only temporary.
About the Author
Hilary Leichter’s writing has appeared in n+1, the New Yorker, the Cut, the Southern Review, and elsewhere. She has taught fiction at Columbia University and has been awarded fellowships from the Folger Shakespeare Library and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
“Temporary is a demented, de-tuned love song for the working life. Hilary Leichter possesses the brute force of language and imagination to create ultra-vivid worlds, suffused with an eerie weirdo beauty. It is Leichter’s brilliance that these invented worlds reflect so directly, blindingly, on the secret, mythical workings of our own.” —Ben Marcus“Temporary took me by storm. Each short chapter is a wallop of topsy-turvy wisdom and humor, and together they build a strange and sparkling universe. The novel is about work and identity and the masks we wear, but it’s also about our weird little human hearts and what they can bear. I am a Hilary Leichter superfan.”—Ramona Ausubel
“In Temporary, the quest for gainful employment is epic; operatic; deliciously, sunnily, terrifyingly entertaining. Hilary Leichter is a conjurer of rare talent.” —Kelly Link