Freud called a cocaine high “a gorgeous excitement” and, as Nina Jacobs is about to learn, New York in the summer of 1986 is a deadly time and place to be gorgeous.

Inspired by real-life events and set against the backdrop of a menacingly gritty Manhattan of the 1980s, Cynthia Weiner’s knockout debut is a timeless and universal story of a young woman trying to find her voice, and of the countless young women whose voices were silenced.


A Gorgeous Excitement is the rarest blend of charm and suspense, at once delightful and terrifying, an expertly written non-coming of age that also serves as cautionary tale, as quintessentially haunting as New York City itself. Read it on a bench in Central Park, but only before night falls.”
    —Elisa Albert, After Birth and Human Blues

“A coming-of-age story with a ripped-from-the-headlines plot, A Gorgeous Excitement plunges us into 1980s New York City in all its seedy glory. Cynthia Weiner’s novel is a pitch-perfect evocation of a bygone era. I read this brilliant debut with my heart in my throat.”
    —Daisy Alpert Florin, My Last Innocent Year 

A Gorgeous Excitement is at turns both gorgeous and exciting. Cynthia Weiner offers a delicious response to Bright Lights, Big City, capturing vividly what it was like for a young woman in the louchely glamourous, cocaine-fueled, privileged white Manhattan of the 1980s.”
    —Susan Jane Gilman, Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress and The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street 

A Gorgeous Excitement is a propulsive read filled with vivid characters and a uniquely hilarious, if impossibly sad, mother-daughter dynamic. But the real star of the book for me is the finely drawn world of pre-Giuliani New York, seedy Times Square and all, whose rampant misogyny and racism feel both dated and brutally relevant.”
     —Holly Brickley, author of the forthcoming Deep Cuts