Stephanie Danler on Coming of Age in New York City


Stephanie Danler moved to New York City at age twenty-two and was quickly drawn into the city’s culinary scene, landing a job at a renowned downtown restaurant. Seven years later, she began her MFA at The New School with her mind set on writing a book. The result? Her debut novel, Sweetbitter—a lush, raw, thrilling story of a uniquely beguiling young woman, set in the alluring world of a famous New York restaurant. Danler’s is an electrifying new voice that captures the experience of being young and new to the city. Along with works by other debut novelists, such as Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and The Girls by Emma Cline, Sweetbitter was one of the most highly anticipated books of Summer 2016 and became an instant national bestseller. A television adaptation of the same name was announced soon after publication, and will premiere on STARZ in the spring of 2018.

Speaking Topic

In her lectures, Danler discusses her craft and writing process, the experiences that informed her debut novel, and the changing nature of both New York City and the restaurant industry.

Praise for Sweetbitter

“Stephanie Danler arrives on the literary scene with a fully-fledged, original voice that’s wry, watchful and wise beyond its years—acutely attuned to the pleasures of the senses and to the desperate stratagems of self-invention among young urban seekers. Sweetbitter is a stunning debut novel, one that seems destined to help define a generation.”  —Jay McInerney

“An unpretentious, truth-dealing novel… about hunger of every variety. Ms. Danler is a sensitive observer… and gifted commenter on many things. Sweetbitter is going to make a lot of people hungry.” —Dwight Garner, New York Times

“Step aside Catcher in the Rye, Sex and the City, and Woody Allen. We have a new New York City—the most dazzling one yet. Stephanie Danler’s debut is extraordinary.” —Diana Spechler, author of Who By Fire and Skinny

Sweetbitter… dresses the bones of a classic coming-of-age story with the lusty flesh and blood of a bawdy early twenty-first-century picaresque… Danler… quickly draws you into the sparkling surfaces and the shadowy underbelly of the city… [Tess’s] insatiable hunger for tactile, sensual satisfaction dares you to tag along. The journey is high-minded and dirty, beastly and bountiful.” —Elle

“Danler exquisitely captures the world of restaurants in writing that is equal parts dreamy and sharp-edged. A vibrant celebration of taste, wine, pleasure, and New York City…” —Food & Wine


Signature Reads: Sweetbitter Author Stephanie Danler on Her New York City and More

Vogue: Stephanie Danler on Why Book Publishing Is Like Waitressing

Vanity Fair: “11 Questions for Sweetbitter Author Stephanie Danler, Union Square Cafe’s Most Successful Alumnus

NPR: “Sweetbitter‘ Is A Savory Saga Of Restaurant Life And Love