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Authors: Terry McMillan

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The Interruption of Everything

BOOK: The Interruption of Everything
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Marilyn Grimes is a wife, a mother, a sister, and a daughter. Today, she’s decided to make changes in her life, to do something different. Today, Marilyn Grimes has finally decided to be herself. First, she has to find out who that is.

Praise for
The Interruption of Everything

“McMillan’s books offer vindication to her most ardent fans: black women juggling work, family, friends, and the lingering effects of racism. Those readers, who have cheered her earlier heroines as they found themselves, drop-kicked bad-news boyfriends, and tumbled into love, will exult in Marilyn’s nerve-racking journey to a new stage in her life.”

The Baltimore Sun

“[McMillan’s] stories are about everyday lives and her characters are memorable…. Along the way, a reader picks up helpful hints on resourcefulness, fortitude in the face of difficulty, and a calm sense of faith.”

Los Angeles Times

“With humor and heart and humanity, McMillan speaks to women on the verge and, as usual, does it with wit and wisdom.”

The Hartford Courant

“Poignant, yet humorous.”


“McMillan [has an] effervescent intelligence. Her sparkling repartee makes it easy to imagine her chuckling as she writes. Her portraits of people are equally evocative.”

The Washington Post

“Smart, spunky, and endearing…[an] entertaining and pointed novel.”

The New Orleans Times-Picayune

The Interruption of Everything
has bestseller written all over it…. I found it hard to put down.”

Houston Chronicle

“McMillan writes this book with the same fast-paced, often witty, conversational tone that endears her to black women, who see themselves or people they know in her characters.”

Detroit Free Press

“McMillan does what she does best…. With her trademark ability to write thought-provoking tales inspired by the lives and loves of contemporary African-American women, McMillan offers another novel sure to resonate with readers grappling with the questions Marilyn poses to herself.”

Publishers Weekly

“Won’t disappoint fans who have come to expect the authentic voices [McMillan] crafts for her characters—and there are lots of them.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Praise for the Other Novels
of Terry McMillan
Waiting to Exhale

“Terry McMillan is perhaps the world’s finest chronicler of modern life among African-American men and women. Her characters’ voices are honest and true as though she’s wiretapped the deepest feeling of the heart.”

San Francisco Chronicle

“Hilarious, irreverent…thoroughly entertaining.”

The New York Times Book Review

“Captures what life and love are all about today.”

USA Today

“McMillan puts someone you know, something you’ve felt or heard, on each page…. The characters are so real that you’ll wonder if McMillan hasn’t somehow overheard a private conversation.”

The Boston Globe

“[A] paean to the sisterhood of all women.”

Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Terry McMillan has created a well-written, truthful, and funny story of four African-American women—four ‘sistuhs’ who are trying to make it in this world we all live in—and the sometimes volatile world of Black female–Black male relationships.”

—Spike Lee

“Terry McMillan has such a wonderful ear for story and dialogue. She gives us four women with raw, honest emotions that
off the page.”

—Amy Tan

“McMillan is not only a gifted writer but a social critic as clear-eyed as Mark Twain or Zora Neale Hurston or Edith Wharton.”


A Day Late and a Dollar Short

“By the last pages you’re weeping. You’re laughing. You’re hooked. It’s oh so good.”

Chicago Tribune

“[McMillan] has a true comic gift. Funny, finely crafted, profound…contemporary African-American naturalism at its best.”

The Village Voice

Disappearing Acts

“A love story ready to explode.”

The New York Times Book Review

“Beautiful and easy to get lost in…a stunning achievement.”


“If Ntozake Shange, Jane Austen, and Danielle Steel collaborated on a novel of manners, this…entertaining book might be the result.”

The New Yorker

Disappearing Acts,
McMillan firmly places herself in the same league as…Alice Walker, Gloria Naylor, and…Zora Neale Hurston.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

How Stella Got Her Groove Back

“A cast of likable characters, funny lines, smart repartee, and a warm…ending. Irreverent, mischievous, diverting…will make you laugh out loud.”

The New York Times Book Review

“Terry McMillan is the only novelist I have ever read who makes me glad to be a woman.”

The Washington Post Book World

“A down-and-dirty, romantic, and brave story told to you by this smart, good-hearted woman as if she were your best friend.”




Disappearing Acts

Breaking Ice: An Anthology of Contemporary
African-American Fiction

Waiting to Exhale

How Stella Got Her Groove Back

A Day Late and a Dollar Short


Terry McMillan



Published by New American Library, a division of

Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014, USA

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto
Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

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Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

Published by Signet, an imprint of New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Previously published in a Viking edition.

Copyright © Terry McMillan, 2005
ISBN: 9781101419793

All rights reserved



Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.



This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

    The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.



For your friendship and those life jackets

and in loving memory of



You are dearly missed


hroughout this long and arduous process, there were many folks who helped me swim and float and sometimes tread water, even when it felt like I was drowning. I appreciate each and every one of you for your friendship, time, listening ear, generosity, faith, patience, and tolerance, but mostly for caring about me. I am especially grateful to God for reminding me what happens when you try to swim against the current and live from the outside in. I finally made it to this shore, at least, and it was worth the journey. I am fortunate to have the following human beings in my life: my editor, Carole DeSanti, for understanding how this process works—that it is not like turning on the oven to 450°, bake for a year until it rises and browns and then pop that baby out until it cools. I wish. Which is why all of the
turned into
. Thank you for caring about me more than a book; Molly Friedrich, my agent, I can pretty much say the same holds true for you as it does Carole (they’re probably in on this together). Your timing is pitch perfect because you know when to lighten up; Beena Kamlani, brilliant developmental editor for this and my last three books, who has a memory I covet, but also for being so picky picky picky and hallelujah for not sugarcoating it when something didn’t work. I was told to make this short so I’m going to cut to the chase, but please don’t feel slighted: Blanche Richardson (again and again), Cherysse Calhoun; Amy Tan, G. F. Grant, Molly Barton; Esther Jordan, Joan Diamond, Leila and Leroy Hannam, Pam Manool, Kristine Bell, Matt Shoupe, Samanda and Naomi Maloa, Valari Adams, Gilda Kihneman, Steve Sobel and Bonnie Ross, Elvira Chavez and staff; Dr. Calvin Lemon, Dr. Kulveen Sachdeva, John Burris, Esq., Deborah Sandler, Esq., Abigail Trillin; the Drummer Family; my sisters, Vicki, Crystal and Rosalyn; and last but not least, my one and only favorite Chocolate Chip, Solomon, for making me so very proud to be your mother and watching you turn into a fine young man, and for not being afraid to show me that you love me. Speak up! I can’t understand you when you mumble. Do I have three dollars for the toll? The ATM machine is empty again? Maybe I have some quarters around here. But just remember: this is a loan and I want my three dollars back after you graduate from college and get your first paycheck. And I’m writing it down!

BOOK: The Interruption of Everything
8.26Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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