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Other People We Marriedby Emma Straub
Synopses & Reviews
In Other People We Married, Straub creates characters as recognizable as a best friend, and follows them through moments of triumph and transformation with wit, vulnerability, and dazzling insight. In “Some People Must Really Fall in Love,” an assistant professor takes halting steps into the awkward world of office politics while harboring feelings for a freshman student. Two sisters struggle with old assumptions about each other as they stumble to build a new relationship in "A Map of Modern Palm Springs." In "Puttanesca," two widows move tentatively forward, still surrounded by ghosts and disappointments from the past. These twelve stories, filled with sharp humor, emotional acuity, and joyful language, announce the arrival of a major new talent.
"Though fresh and satisfying insights can surface in even the most common terrain, this debut story collection, from the daughter of horror heavyweight Peter Straub, offers little originality or wit. Despite the stories taking place in different locations, what the characters encounter along the way remains provincial, the circumstantial and geographic territory covered ringing all too familiar. Set in the Midwest, 'Some People Must Really Fall in Love,' presents a young female professor with a crush on one of her students. In 'Rosemary,' set in Brooklyn, a new mother's beloved cat flees after the baby is born. In the title story, Franny's best friend is a gay man who awkwardly accompanies her and her husband on a Martha's Vineyard vacation. 'Puttanesca,' by contrast, is a delight: Stephen and Laura met through their bereavement counselor, having each lost a significant other when young. Despite a trip to Italy, Laura in particular remains in the shadow of her dead husband, and in this there is tenderness and intrigue. 'Orient Point' follows an unlikely couple and their baby to Long Island. Though it's the shortest of the collection, it's also the strongest, nailing both a humor and an inevitable loss that is never quite realized in the other stories. Agent: Jenni Ferrari-Adler, Brick House." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Other People We Married is a revelation." Lorrie Moore, author of Birds of America and A Gate at the Stairs
"Emma Straub is worthy of our adoration. These stories are wise, surprising, hilarious, and unforgettable." Karen Russell, author of St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves and Swamplandia!
"Emma Straub is a wry, witty, incisively observant writer." Dan Chaon, author of Await Your Reply
"Emma Straub's stories mean that there are fewer lonely people in the world; they are the best kind of company. I’m giddy about their very existence, the way you get giddy when you meet someone you'd like to know for a long, long time. I look forward to knowing Emma Straub's fiction for a long, long time." Thisbe Nissen, author of The Good People of New York and Osprey Island
"Razor sharp and tenderhearted, funny and wrenching. Emma Straub's stories take place in all the messy, fascinating, uncanny corners of contemporary relationships." Kelly Link, author of Stranger Things Happen and Magic for Beginners
"Emma Straub has such a graceful, brittle, subversive voice that it takes a moment after you surface from her stories, drugged with pleasure and ringing with sharp insight, to realize how deeply she loves and understands humanity. Other People We Married is a terrific collection of stories, and Emma Straub is a joyous marvel of a writer." Lauren Groff, author of The Monsters of Templeton and Delicate Edible Birds
"The smarts and humor of a Lorrie Moore or a Laurie Colwin or a Laurie Anderson — any number of Lauries." Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Brief History of the Dead, for the Oxford American
A Bookpage Best Books of 2012 pick
At once a delicious depiction of Hollywoods golden age and a sweet, fulfilling story about one womans journey through fame, love, and loss.”—Boston Globe
In 1920, Elsa Emerson is born to the owners of the Cherry County Playhouse in Door County, Wisconsin. 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 childs game of pretend. While still in her teens, Elsa marries and flees to Los Angeles. There she is discovered by Hollywood mogul Irving Green, who refashions her as an exotic brunette screen siren and renames her Laura Lamont. But fame has its costs, and while Laura tries to balance career, family, and personal happiness, she realizes that Elsa Emerson might not be gone completely. Ambitious and richly imagined, Laura Lamonts Life in Pictures is as intimate—and as bigger-than-life—as the great films of the golden age of Hollywood.
About the Author
Emma Straub is from New York City. Her fiction and non-fiction have been published by Tin House, The Paris Review Daily, Time, Slate, and The New York Times, and she is a staff writer for Rookie. Emma lives with her husband in Brooklyn, where she also works as a bookseller.
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