** 'It's the beautifully drawn, vibrant characters that make this smart, compelling novel so irresistible.' Liane Moriarty ** From the New York Times Bestselling author of The Vacationers, Emma Straub brings us a sharply observed tale of modern love . . . Twenty years later and they were supposed to be grown-ups... Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. Summer in the city . . . College friends Elizabeth, Zoe and Andrew had a band, grew up, settled in New York and now they were still living round the corner from one another (and in each other's pockets). One hot summer as their kids come of age, making those first hesitant steps into adulthood, it's the parents who find that the lives they've so carelessly stitched together begin to slowly unravel . . . 'Has all the pleasures of Anne Tyler's compelling family portraits . . . with a Lorrie Moore-like sense of the absurdities of contemporary life' Michiko Kakutani, New York Times 'Really entertaining. The characters are complex and likeable. It's one of those stories that makes you realise that life really does run away from you' Guardian 'Straub's characters thrum off the page. The sort of witty and relatable summer title you'll devour with a contented smack of the lips' Independent 'Funny yet tart, warm yet incisive. I adored it' Red
A Bookpage Best Books of 2012 pick The enchanting story of a midwestern girl who escapes a family tragedy and is remade as a movie star during Hollywood’s golden age. In 1920, Elsa Emerson, the youngest and blondest of three sisters, is born in idyllic Door County, Wisconsin. Her family owns the Cherry County Playhouse, and more than anything, Elsa relishes appearing onstage, where she soaks up the approval of her father and the embrace of the audience. But when tragedy strikes her family, her acting becomes more than a child¹s game of pretend. While still in her teens, Elsa marries and flees to Los Angeles. There she is discovered by Irving Green, one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood, who refashions her as a serious, exotic brunette and renames her Laura Lamont. Irving becomes Laura’s great love; she becomes an Academy Award-winning actress—and a genuine movie star. Laura experiences all the glamour and extravagance of the heady pinnacle of stardom in the studio-system era, but ultimately her story is a timeless one of a woman trying to balance career, family, and personal happiness, all while remaining true to herself. Ambitious and richly imagined, Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures is as intimate—and as bigger-than-life—as the great films of the golden age of Hollywood. Written with warmth and verve, it confirms Emma Straub’s reputation as one of the most exciting new talents in fiction.
"Delicious . . . richly riveting . . . The Vacationers offers all the delights of a fluffy, read-it-with-sunglasses-on-the-beach read, made substantial by the exceptional wit, insight, intelligence and talents of its author.”—People (four stars) An irresistible, deftly observed novel from the New York Times-bestselling author of Modern Lovers, about the secrets, joys, and jealousies that rise to the surface over the course of an American family’s two-week stay in Mallorca. For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Franny and Jim are observing their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, and their daughter, Sylvia, has graduated from high school. The sunlit island, its mountains and beaches, its tapas and tennis courts, also promise an escape from the tensions simmering at home in Manhattan. But all does not go according to plan: over the course of the vacation, secrets come to light, old and new humiliations are experienced, childhood rivalries resurface, and ancient wounds are exacerbated. This is a story of the sides of ourselves that we choose to show and those we try to conceal, of the ways we tear each other down and build each other up again, and the bonds that ultimately hold us together. With wry humor and tremendous heart, Emma Straub delivers a richly satisfying story of a family in the midst of a maelstrom of change, emerging irrevocably altered yet whole.
From the "War on Hippies" to the Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle, the story of Modern Lovers is a high octane tale of Brutalist architecture, rock 'n' roll ambition and the struggle for identity in a changing world. One of punk rock's foundational documents, the archetype for indie obsession and all but disowned by its author, The Modern Lovers was an album doomed by its own coolness from day one. Powered by the two-chord wonder “Roadrunner” and its proclamation that “I'm in love with rock 'n' roll,”The Modern Lovers is the essential document of American alienation, an escape route from the cultural wasteland of postwar suburbia. The Modern Lovers is the bridge connecting the Velvet Underground and the Sex Pistols; they were peers of the New York Dolls and friends with Gram Parsons and they would splinter into Talking Heads, The Cars, and The Real Kids. But The Modern Lovers was never meant to be an album. A collection of demos, recorded in fits and starts as Jonathan Richman and his band negotiate modernity and the music industry. It is a collection of songs about a city and a society in flux, grappling with ancient corruptions and bright-eyed idealism. Richman observes a city all but abandoned by adults, ravaged by white flight and urban renewal, veering towards anarchy as old world social moors collide with new attitudes. It is a city stands in stark contrast to the the ranchstyle bedroom community where he was raised. All of these conflicts are churned through Richman's intellectual acuity and emotional unrest to create one of the 20th century's most enduring documents of post-adolescent malaise.
An Amazon Editors’ Best Book of December 2018 “Art will wake you up. Art will break your heart. There will be glorious days. If you want eternity you must be fearless.” —from The Museum of Modern Love Arky Levin has reached a dead end. Unexpectedly separated from his wife, he suddenly has the space he needs to work composing film scores—but none of the peace of mind he needs to create. As he wanders the city, guilty and restless, it’s almost by chance that he stumbles upon an exhibition that will change his life. The installation the fictional Arky discovers—which is based on a real piece of performance art that took place in 2010—is inexplicably powerful. Visitors to the Museum of Modern Art sit across a table from the performance artist Marina Abramović, for as short or long a period as they choose. Although some go in skeptical, almost all leave moved. And the participants are not the only ones to find themselves changed by this unusual experience: Arky finds himself drawn to the exhibit. He returns day after day to watch other people sit with Abramović—and as he does, he begins to understand what might be missing in his life and what he must do.