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What is Arbitrary Stupid Goal ?

A no-muss memoir written by Tamara Shopsin. It is a love letter about the charms of old New York/New Yorkers, a man named Willy, the singular restaurant Tamara’s family runs, and the philosophic wisdom of her father Kenny Shopsin.

What does this have to with football?

Nothing. This is not a book about football.

But there is a football player on the book jacket?

It is a set-up for the drawing underneath, a cartoon about living life so fully that the whole point of the game changes.

What is Tamara’s family restaurant like?

An oasis in New York City that was a real life Sesame Street, with her dad as Oscar the Grouch and mom as Big Bird. Her parents ran it first as a grocery store and then as a restaurant called Shopsin’s. They ran it at a time when President Ford told the city to drop dead and parents begged their children NOT to move to New York.

Wait is the restaurant still open?

Yes, but it has moved to the Lower East Side and the book focuses on the restaurant's first location in Greenwich Village.

And who is Willy?

Willoughby was a New Yorker from St. Louis that Tamara grew up with.

My dad told me Willy once had a girl over. The girl and Willy had lots of sex and drinks. And he gave her his television set.

When Willy wanted to get laid he gave everything away. He had an expression:

When I’m hard I’m soft and when I’m soft I’m hard.

And it was true because the next day Willy went and got the television back.

Arbitrary Stupid Goal, page 33

What is the philosophic wisdom of Kenny Shopsin?

Read the book and you will find out.

How do I buy the book?

It will be in stores July 18. You can pre-order now, ask at your local book store, or here are a few links: Powell’s, B&N, & Amazon

Will there be book events?

Yes. July 17 & 18 in NYC, July 20 & 22 in SF, and July 25 & 27 in LA. Visit this page for all the info. You could also follow Tamara on Instagram: @tshopsin.

How can I tell everybody about this book?

That is very kind. You could or share one of these videos or use this gif of the cover to share:

Thank You.


For press inquiries please email Sarah.

Hardcover / FSG ✕ MCD / ISBN 978-0374105860 / $27
Pub. Date July 18, 2017