Steve Martin is a veteran observer of human nature and
SHOPGIRL, his first novel, is a human nature observer's dream:
Mirabelle is an artist, but mostly she's the "shopgirl" of our
story, selling gloves at Neiman Marcus in L.A. Barely existing on
her salary, she budgets her money and her time, spending as wisely
as possible, endeavoring to wring the most from both.
Mirabelle meets young Jeremy, whose "slouch is so extreme that he
appears to have left his skeleton at home." Having no clue how
romantic relationships work, Jeremy quickly loses her to a man of
the world, Ray Porter, who does know how romantic relationships
work and who plays Mirabelle along, showing her the finer things in
If SHOPGIRL were read by anyone other than Steve Martin, it would
not properly convey his definition of character and writing style.
SHOPGIRL is convincingly ironic, subtle, wise and heroically
perceptive. Hats off to Steve Martin for using humor to offset the
struggle to find and sustain love in our "meet and greet"
Reviewed by Marge Fletcher on January 23, 2011
Shopgirl: A Novella