“Katherine Heiny's work does something magical: elevates the mundane so that it has the stakes of a mystery novel, gives women's interior lives the gravity they so richly deserve -- and makes you laugh along the way.”
—Lena Dunham

Single, Carefree, Mellow is that rare and wonderful thing: a debut that is superbly accomplished, endlessly entertaining, and laugh-out-loud funny.
Maya is in love with both her boyfriend and her boss. Sadie’s lover calls her as he drives to meet his wife at marriage counseling. Gwen pines for her roommate, a man who will hold her hand but then tells her that her palm is sweaty. And Sasha agrees to have a drink with her married lover’s wife and then immediately regrets it. These are the women of Single, Carefree, Mellow, and in these eleven sublime stories they are grappling with unwelcome houseguests, disastrous birthday parties, needy but loyal friends, and all manner of love, secrets, and betrayal.
In “Cranberry Relish” Josie’s ex—a man she met on Facebook—has a new girlfriend he found on Twitter. In “Blue Heron Bridge” Nina is more worried that the Presbyterian minister living in her garage will hear her kids swearing than about his finding out that she’s sleeping with her running partner. And in “The Rhett Butlers” a teenager loses her virginity to her history teacher and then outgrows him.
In snappy, glittering prose that is both utterly hilarious and achingly poignant, Katherine Heiny chronicles the ways in which we are unfaithful to each other, both willfully and unwittingly. Maya, who appears in the title story and again in various states of love, forms the spine of this linked collection, and shows us through her moments of pleasure, loss, deceit, and kindness just how fickle the human heart can be.

Read by a Full Cast:
THE DIVE BAR, read by Julia Whelan
SINGLE, CAREFREE, MELLOW, read by Rebecca Lowman
BLUE HERON BRIDGE, read by Cassandra Campbell
THAT DANCE YOU DO, read by Julia Whelan
DARK MATTER, read by Rebecca Lowman
CRANBERRY RELISH, read by Cassandra Campbell
THOUGHTS OF A BRIDESMAID, read by Julia Whelan
THE RHETT BUTLERS, read by Emily Rankin
GRENDEL’S MOTHER, read by Rebecca Lowman
ANDORRA, read by Cassandra Campbell

“Katherine Heiny's work does something magical: elevates the mundane so that it has the stakes of a mystery novel, gives women's interior lives the gravity they so richly deserve -- and makes you laugh along the way.”
—Lena Dunham

“Heiny’s wry, bittersweet debut . . . is something like Cheever mixed with Ephron: white, middle-class suburban discontent simmering below the surface, but treated with a light touch that keeps the focus squarely on the woman’s point of view. . . . Heiny is very good at portraying the circumscribed landscapes, both literal and emotional, in which her characters live. She also gives credence to what is still a conundrum for many women: What role can I play in a world in which I am neither fully ‘carefree’ and ‘mellow’ when single, nor entirely ‘giving’ and ‘content’ when attached?”
—Naomi Fry, The New York Times Book Review 

Single, Carefree, Mellow[’s] characters might have stepped out of Girls—grown-up but still groping toward happiness . . . These are wry, winning stories you won’t forget soon.”
People Magazine, Book of the Week

“Sharply perceptive . . . Ms. Heiny [has] powers of writerly seduction . . . Cutely absurd enough to have the makings of a sitcom . . . The wit and character are given time to develop . . . Don’t miss ‘Blue Heron Bridge,’ in which the obligatory affair is fraught with very funny snobbery on the part of Nina, a married woman involved with a younger man . . . Ms. Heiny [has a] gift for dreaming up otherwise smart women who lapse into temporary insanity while besotted.”
—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“For the commitment-averse women in Katherine Heiny’s deceptively lighthearted debut story collection, Single, Carefree, Mellow, falling in love entails ‘a long series of choices in which you were always unhappy that you couldn’t choose two things at the same time.’”
—Megan O’Grady, Vogue

“Katherine Heiny’s first collection, Single, Carefree, Mellow, is a tour de force about love, deception, friendship, and flirtation. Several stories feature smart, sexy Maya, who in the title story becomes love-struck by her dog’s veterinarian.”

“Heiny . . . is an expert on the baffled and titillated frustration of trying to deal with men and women who go through life so thoroughly untouched . .  It’s no small trick to write with lightness and humor that nevertheless has an edge of tartness, but in story after story, Heiny does so with aplomb. Her work is sharp and refreshing, a parade of gin and tonics that somehow never get you drunker than that first expansive, thoughtful buzz.”
Michelle Wildgen, Tin House

"Each story in Katherine Heiny's collection doles out gems that are so authentic and outrageous I wanted to read them out loud to a friend over the phone...Be ready to laugh and hoot, and then buy Single, Carefree, Mellow for all your girlfriends — but probably not your mother-in-law."
—Justine Kenin, NPR 

“Not all of the women in Katherine Heiny's clever collection of short stories are single, carefree, and mellow, but there is a breeziness that connects them all and makes the book so pleasantly readable. The women — one in love with her roommate, another pregnant and having an affair, another a young girl sleeping with a married man — are full-fleshed and deftly realized, if a little complacent, and their familiar stories of love and heartache sort of settle into a hopeful ambiguity. It's a perfect spring read.”
—Arianna Rebolini, Buzzfeed Books

“In the pantheon of very bad ideas, agreeing to meet your lover’s wife for a drink would seem to fall somewhere between sticking a fork in a toaster and walking blindfolded into traffic. And yet Sasha, the twentysomething protagonist of Single, Carefree, Mellow’s opening story, ‘The Dive Bar,’ decides to put on her favorite earrings and do exactly that . . . Refreshingly liberated and free of judgment . . . Single, Carefree, Mellow is a lot like the women who populate it: smart and sexy and a little bit ruthless.”
—Leah Greenblat, Entertainment Weekly

“Chances are you've already heard the buzz on this collection of short stories, each of which has a relationship or affair at its center. But no matter how good you imagine it is, it's better. Seemingly, there isn't a lying woman Heiny can't make you love; there isn't a devastating situation she can't make you laugh during . . . I promise, you'll find a cathartic, strikingly personal moment somewhere in these stories, even if you've never been a mistress or put your dog to sleep (yes, bring tissues for that one).”
—Megan Angelo, Glamour.com

“Gorgeous . . . The women of Single, Carefree, Mellow, Katherine Heiny’s ironically titled debut short story collection, may have husbands and boyfriends in addition to their lovers on the side, but these myriad of men don’t make them happy. You feel them constantly searching the horizons for some indefinitely better deal or validation than guys they are romantically involved in can provide. Heavy lies the crown made of Grrrl Power. . . There is a strangely affirming agency threaded through these tightly written shorts.”
—Drew Grant, NY Observer

“Witty short stories for lazy afternoons.”

“To encounter the wry, funny stories in Katherine Heiny's Single, Carefree, Mellow is to experience the best form of simultaneous pleasure and sadness . . . Heiny's narrators offer a pleasure not unlike new friendship . . . They are so smart, and so moving, that I intend to read them again . . . They also perform the act central to the best literature: They remind us that we are not alone.”
—Elizabeth Langemak, Philadelphia Tribune

“The buzziest book of 2015 would have to be Single, Carefree, Mellow, a saucy short-story collection that took Katherine Heiny more than 22 years to write. . . This whip-smart collection about women wrapped up in all kinds of love affairs will have you laughing out loud.” 
—Most Anticipated Books of 2015, Entertainment Weekly 

“Ms. Heiny’s explosive start as a writer carries a whiff of legend, probably because of her disappearance from the literary scene for nearly two decades. Many of the stories feature women dissatisfied with their spouses and boyfriends and sometimes their illicit lovers . . .  She smuggles in zingy one-liners . . . but much of the humor is situational.”
—Alexandra Alter, The New York Times 

“WOW . . . Laugh out loud funny, and smart, and amazing! Heiny's writing is first rate, and her observations and perspectives on the damages we inflict on one another are razor sharp.”

“‘How to Give the Wrong Impression’ falls somewhere between Anne Beattie and Patricia Highsmith—a young girl starts to pretend her roommate Boris is her domestic partner, and then takes it way too far. This—everyday life, slightly tweaked—is Heiny’s territory, and her investigations manage to be both heartbreaking and darkly comic.”
The Atlantic 
“A quirky delight . . . Heiny is slyly funny throughout and subversive in her attitude toward the romantic misadventures of her heroines, which she treats as having far less moral weight than convention would demand.”
—Margaret Quamme, The Columbus Dispatch 
“Heiny has created women—and placed men around them—who are complex, flawed and not always likable in ways that are recognizable, sometimes wincingly so, which I find refreshing and liberating. She holds no punches, but often her subtle, wry humor softens the blows.
—Sari Botton, Longreads 
“Incredible . . . startling, but strangely endearing . . . There’s the detached 17-year-old girl who’s sleeping with her history teacher; Maya, a librarian, who cheats on her loving fiancé; Nina, a Florida housewife who’s having an affair with her trainer . . . each of these thoroughly modern women are neither good nor bad; they’re somewhere in between, like most of us are. You’ll love Heiny’s clean, subtle prose, which is often hilarious and always uncannily insightful.”
—Caroline Goldstein, Bustle 

“Don’t start this collection of short stories at bedtime unless you are willing to lose some sleep . . . Heiny captures the funny, awful, awkward, touching moments of young women’s lives in a voice that is fresh and honest and basically the opposite of the get-off-my-grass Millennial-haters who sometimes think they’ve got the market cornered on literary writing. I thought I’d dip in and out of it, and instead I devoured it whole. Great stuff.”
—Rebecca Schinsky, Inbox/Outbox on Bookriot

“This radiant collection of short stories features a set of flawed yet sympathetic women in a whole mess of compromising positions . . . Many of the women in these beautifully wrought stories are single, but they are anything but carefree or mellow . . . First-time author Katherine Heiny takes great care to make her characters relatable even in their imperfections. She paints sweetly resonant moments that also can be very funny . . . Single, Carefree, Mellow is named for a story in which Maya ponders leaving her boyfriend of five years, then decides there is “such a thing as too much loss.” It’s a poignant moment that sums up this smart exploration of love and betrayal, and that fine line between happiness and pain.”
—Amy Scribner, Bookpage 

“Heiny explores sex, relationships and the internal lives of young women in this charmingly candid collection of short stories. The women who populate the pages of Heiny's disarming debut are girlfriends, mistresses and wives. They are best friends, roommates and lovers. They are intelligent but not always ambitious—keenly insightful but sometimes, perhaps willfully, blind to their own deeper desires—with loyalties and libidos that may be at odds and morals that may be in question. Despite the title, not all are single (or carefree or mellow), but they are all singular, and following their stories is like sitting at a dive bar tossing back deceptively pretty, surprisingly strong drinks with a pal who may not always make the best decisions but always comes away with the most colorful tales... These young women are sympathetic and slyly seductive, sometimes selfish and maddeningly un-self-aware, but they are beguilingly human, and readers will yield to their charms.”
Kirkus (starred)

"Katherine Heiny’s smart and stylishly-written stories are a delight. The women who populate this book—from a teenager in a relationship with her history teacher, in the terrific story 'The Rhett Butlers,' to a graduate student with a crush on her roommate, to several unfaithful suburban wives—are wonderfully human and relatable, both hapless and full of heart."
–Adelle Waldman, author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P

“Not since Laurie Colwin has a writer so poignantly and wittily depicted the joys of infidelity. Katherine Heiny knows the secret: happy marriages make for happy affairs. Also happy readers.”
—Susan Rieger, author of The Divorce Papers

“Funny and heartfelt . . . Few characters are single and even fewer are carefree—though most long to be. Instead, they are remorseful about their disloyalties, torn between spouses and secret lovers, and guilt-ridden over the betrayals they commit in the name of love . . . Maya, who appears in several more stories in various stages of life and love, is one of many captivating characters expertly imagined by Heiny . . . An exceptionally humorous collection by a talented new writer.”
—Lisa Block, Library Journal (starred)

“The female protagonists of Single, Carefree, Mellow tipple and titillate, fantasize and fumble, worry and wander. They make poor choices in men and children’s birthday entertainment. They make wise choices in what to wear to meet their lovers’ wives.”

Single, Carefree, Mellow is a book about heartache, adultery, love, and loss that somehow manages to be both laugh-out-loud funny and wise, sometimes in the very same sentence.  It’s full of lines so smart and sharp that I was compelled to stop and read them out loud to my friends. This book is amazing, brilliant, and nothing short of wonderful.”
—Jennifer Close, author of Girls in White Dresses and The Smart One
"Katherine Heiny where have you been all my life? Single, Carefree, Mellow is among the most insightful, funny, and smart collections I’ve read in a very long time. The unfaithful lovers and spouses that populate so many of these stories remain lovable and true despite their bad behavior and questionable choices. And their happy endings feel earned and unsentimental. How did you pull that off? There are echoes of Lorrie Moore, Melissa Bank, and even Alice Munro, but the voice is fresh and original throughout. More, more, more. Please!"
—Stephen McCauley, author of The Object of My Affection and Insignificant Others
“Formed of ten exquisitely-composed stories (all featuring women in various states of love), Heiny's book takes a disarming and wry look at the inherent nature of betrayal and secrets within relationships.”
Elle UK
“Lots of short story collections have been coming my way lately, and early 2015 seems especially rich in that regard. This debut collection, which bowled me over on first read, deserves a special shout out.”
— Ten Big Breakout Authors | Fiction Previews, Library Journal