I Make Envy on Your Disco


I Make Envy on Your Disco

A Novel

Eric Schnall

Zero Street Fiction Series

296 pages


May 2024


$21.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

May 2024


$21.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

May 2024


$21.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Winner of the Barbara DiBernard Prize in Fiction

"A funny and moving debut."—Charles Arrowsmith, The Washington Post

“A love letter to Berlin, to travel, and to saying yes to life.”—Alan Cumming

It’s the new millennium and the anxiety of midlife is creeping up on Sam Singer, a thirty-seven-year-old art advisor. Fed up with his partner and his life in New York, Sam flies to Berlin to attend a gallery opening. There he finds a once-divided city facing an identity crisis of its own. In Berlin the past is everywhere: the graffiti-stained streets, the candlelit cafés and techno clubs, the astonishing mash-up of architecture, monuments, and memorials.

A trip that begins in isolation evolves into one of deep connection and possibility. In an intensely concentrated series of days, Sam finds himself awash in the city, stretched in limbo between his own past and future—in nightclubs with Jeremy, a lonely wannabe DJ; navigating a flirtation with Kaspar, an East Berlin artist he meets at a café; and engaged in a budding relationship with Magda, the enigmatic and icy manager of Sam’s hotel, whom Sam finds himself drawn to and determined to thaw. I Make Envy on Your Disco is at once a tribute to Berlin, a novel of longing and connection, and a coming-of-middle-age story about confronting the person you were and becoming the person you want to be. 

Author Bio

Eric Schnall has worked on and off Broadway as a producer and marketing director for more than twenty-five years. He won a Tony Award for the Broadway revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and a Lucille Lortel Award for Fleabag. He has also written about techno and electronic music for Billboard and Revolution, profiling DJs and musicians from around the world.


"[An] affecting debut. . . . Schnall succeeds at bringing the city's strange beauty to life. This will strike a chord with anyone who’s been touched by the magic of Berlin."—Publishers Weekly

"A funny and moving debut."—Charles Arrowsmith, The Washington Post

“This is a pendulum of a book, swinging between rolling in smoky Kreuzberg techno clubs and strolling the preppy lushness of New York’s Upper West Side, and never being quite sure when or where we’re going to slip off and land. A love letter to Berlin, to travel, and to saying yes to life.”—Alan Cumming

“Eric Schnall’s gorgeous debut is everything you want in a novel—perceptive and witty, melancholy and honest, kind and full of heart. Better yet, his story is populated with the most hilarious and singular characters you could hope to meet on the page.”—Jenny Jackson, New York Times best-selling author of Pineapple Street

“An amazing feat. Wonderful books are like foreign travel itself. You’re dropped someplace unfamiliar, lost in a new language. You begin to feel your way around, and in the hands of a skilled writer like Eric Schnall you slowly but surely fall in love with place, with character, with words, ultimately gaining a new sense of self. I finished I Make Envy on Your Disco completely enchanted, and I can’t wait to book a return trip to Schnall’s work.”—Steven Rowley, New York Times best-selling author of The Celebrants

“One of the most delightful, smart, surprising, and unexpectedly affirming books I’ve ever read. Not unlike protagonist Sam Singer—who has fled his life in New York for an exquisitely rendered Berlin—I fell in love with every character who crosses his path.”—Steve Adams, Pushcart Prize–winning author of Remember This

“What if a city and the people you meet there get so under your skin that you see once more that life is full of beauty and possibility? I Make Envy on Your Disco will remind you that growing older is not just about what you leave behind but also about new beginnings, new relationships, and new ways of living in the world.”—Anton Hur, National Book Award finalist and author of Toward Eternity 

“The characters in this hilarious, wistful, and moving novel will live with you long after you’ve read the last, aching page. I Make Envy on Your Disco is pure pleasure—a celebration of the intense, even transcendent connections we can make when traveling far from home.”—Carolyn Turgeon, author of Godmother and Mermaid

“In Eric Schnall’s fast-paced and funny debut novel, a successful New York art advisor finds himself perpetually discombobulated on a short business trip to Berlin. Moment by moment, we tag along as he continually loses—and eventually recovers—himself in a city that comes as vividly to life as the eclectic cast of characters he meets along the way. I loved this sharply observed and deeply touching book.”—Bill Hayes, author of Insomniac City

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