Hilary Leichter, Terrace Story

Prepare to be astonished. Like the magical terrace of its title, Hilary Leichter’s spectacular second novel contains the whole world. Told with boundless imagination, wisdom, and effortlessly gorgeous prose, Terrace Story will transform your understanding of time, space, memory, love, longing, and family and make you see your life anew. This book is a wonder.”

— Jessamine Chan, author of The School for Good Mothers


“Mesmerizing . . . a moving story of love, extinction, and finding space in a world that is shrinking.”

Town & Country


Terrace Story is fun and profound, fickle and erudite. It is an irresistibly cool book.”

 — Booklist


In her acclaimed debut novel, Temporary (2020), Hilary Leichter embraces the magic in the mundane as a young woman sets off on alarmingly absurdist job assignments. (Pirate, assassin, mother.) With piercing originality and uncommon generosity, Leichter conjures an epic picaresque filled with simple truths about what it means to live a valuable life. Writing for The New York Times, Parul Sehgal called Temporary “a brisk, wildly imaginative first novel…a comic and mournful Alice in Wonderland set in the gig economy, an eerily precise portrait of ourselves in a cracked mirror.”

Temporary asked the question, what does it mean to live and work under late capitalism? In her second novel, TERRACE STORY (Ecco; on sale: August 29, 2023), Leichter shifts her focus to matters of the heart. Through her signature uncanny storytelling, she keeps us looking in that cracked mirror, bringing us a moving new novel about family, loss, rediscovery of self…and a magical piece of real estate.

In TERRACE STORY, we follow Annie, Edward, and their young daughter Rose—a small family living in a small apartment. One night, without warning, they find a beautiful terrace hidden in their closet. It wasn't there before, and it seems to only appear when their friend Stephanie visits. A city dweller’s dream come true! But every bit of space has a hidden cost, and the terrace sets off a seismic chain of events, forever changing the shape of their tiny home, and the shape of the world.

TERRACE STORY follows the people who suffer these repercussions and reverberations: the little family of three, their future now deeply uncertain, and those who orbit their fragile universe. The distance and love between these characters expands limitlessly, across generations. How far can the mind travel when it’s looking for something that is gone? Where do we put our loneliness, longing, and desire? What do we do with the emotions that seem to stretch beyond the body, beyond the boundaries of life and death?

TERRACE STORY was originally published as a short story in Harper’s Magazine, where it won the National Magazine Award for Fiction. Hilary wrote it on her lunch breaks at work, while living in a very tiny apartment with her husband in Brooklyn. Then after the start of the pandemic, the story took shape as a novel. Feeling cramped had taken on a whole new meaning. And with the deaths of a close relative and friends, Hilary started thinking more about the space that grief occupies, wondering, what does it mean to hold space for each other, to make room for each other’s pain? What do we have to give up to make real space for the people in our lives?

A sprawling, gutting romance” (BOMB), this empathetic, highly inventive story calls to the readers who find themselves “holding space,” latching onto your heartstrings and refusing to let go.

Event date: 
Saturday, October 14, 2023 - 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Event address: 
306 Pearl Parkway
Suite 106
San Antonio, TX 78215
Terrace Story: A Novel By Hilary Leichter Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063265813
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - August 29th, 2023

From the author of the acclaimed novel Temporary, an intimate exploration of time, a fable about love, an epic daydream for a broken-hearted world

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