Ms. Demeanor: A Novel

Ms. Demeanor: A Novel

by Elinor Lipman
Ms. Demeanor: A Novel

Ms. Demeanor: A Novel

by Elinor Lipman


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Cooking, Home Confinement, and Storytelling: A Q&A on our blog, B&N Reads, with Elinor Lipman, author of Ms. Demeanor, our January Fiction Pick.


Notes From Your Bookseller

This witty story of love under house arrest is a delicious delight with an intriguing cast of characters, befuddling circumstances, and mouthwatering meals. The story of a nosy neighbor, the consequences of a night of pleasure under the stars, and the months following when two neighbors meet each other after both being placed on house arrest, Elinor Lipman tells a story of a woman conquering loneliness with new friends and hobbies without stepping foot outside her building.

Finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor

“Ms. Demeanor is a complete and utter delight. Of course it is. What Elinor Lipman novel isn’t?”—Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls and Chances Are . . .

“Who knew house arrest could be sexy and fun? Not me, at least not until I read Ms. Demeanor. Written with Elinor Lipman’s signature wit and charm, this breezy, engrossing novel tells the story of two people who make the most of their shared confinement.”—Tom Perrotta, New York Times bestselling author of Tracy Flick Can’t Win

“When a neighbor’s complaint about consensual al fresco sex turns into house arrest and a suspended legal license, Jane’s recipe for survival involves cooking for another home-arrested tenant (could this be a match made in confinement?) while trying to figure out the whys and hows of her mysterious accuser. Filled with food, family, romance and intrigue, Lipman’s novel cooks up a bounty of delights as sparkling as prosecco and as deeply satisfying and delicious as a five-star meal.”—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of With or Without You 

From one of America’s most beloved contemporary novelists, a delicious and witty story about love under house arrest

Jane Morgan is a valued member of her law firm—or was, until a prudish neighbor, binoculars poised, observes her having sex on the roof of her NYC apartment building.  Police are summoned, and a punishing judge sentences her to six months of home confinement. With Jane now jobless and rootless, trapped at home, life looks bleak. Yes, her twin sister provides support and advice, but mostly of the unwelcome kind. When a doorman lets slip that Jane isn't the only resident wearing an ankle monitor, she strikes up a friendship with fellow white-collar felon Perry Salisbury. As she tries to adapt to life within her apartment walls, she discovers she hasn’t heard the end of that tattletale neighbor—whose past isn’t as decorous as her 9-1-1 snitching would suggest. Why are police knocking on Jane’s door again? Can her house arrest have a silver lining? Can two wrongs make a right? In the hands of "an inspired alchemist who converts serious subject into humor” (New York Times Book Review)—yes, delightfully.  

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780358677888
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 12/27/2022
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 177,240
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

About The Author
Elinor Lipman is the award-winning author of sixteen books of fiction and nonfiction, including The Inn at Lake Devine, Isabel’s Bed, I Can’t Complain: (All Too) Personal Essays, On Turpentine Lane, Rachel to the Rescue, and Ms. Demeanor. Her first novel, Then She Found Me, was adapted into a film directed by and starring Helen Hunt, with Bette Midler, Colin Firth, and Matthew Broderick. Lipman was the 2011–12 Elizabeth Drew Professor of Creative Writing at Smith College and divides her time between Manhattan and the Hudson Valley.


Northampton, Massachusetts, and New York, New York

Date of Birth:

October 16, 1950

Place of Birth:

Lowell, Massachusetts


A.B., Simmons College, 1972; Honorary Doctor of Letters, Simmons College, 2000
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