Thursday, January 28, 2016

Elizabeth LaBan

Elizabeth LaBan lives in Philadelphia with her restaurant critic husband and two children. She is the author of the young adult novel The Tragedy Paper, published by Knopf, which has been translated into eleven foreign languages, and The Grandparents Handbook, published by Quirk Books, which has been translated into seven foreign languages.

She teaches fiction writing at The University of Pennsylvania. In addition, she is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, New York Newsday and The Times-Picayune, among other publications. She also ghost writes a weekly column, and has ghost written two books.

LaBan's new novel is The Restaurant Critic's Wife.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
Right now I’m reading The Status of All Things by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. For those of you who haven’t read it, it is the story of Kate and what happens the month leading up to her wedding, though, as we know from the beginning, she is living that month for a second time. The first time around, which is where the book begins, Kate’s finance Max breaks up with her at their rehearsal dinner. Heartbroken, she finds her way home from Hawaii where the wedding was supposed to take place and, with the help of Facebook and what I think is a fairy godmother named Ruby (I am only halfway through, I can’t say for sure yet if Ruby really ends up in that role), she is able to go back in time and live that important month again. I am hooked, and actually didn’t begin writing this post until late this morning because I couldn’t stop reading.

I love a time-travel, have-a-chance-to-do-it-again, what-if kind of book. It reminds me of Jennifer Weiner’s short story "The Guy Not Taken" about a woman who changes her fate and gets a second chance to see what might have been by fiddling with her ex-boyfriend’s wedding registry. It also reminds me of our favorite, albeit sappy, holiday movie called Holidaze in which a high-powered executive who gave up small town life and love for her job returns to her childhood home for a visit. She hits her head and finds herself in an alternate reality, one in which she made all the opposite choices. It gives her the opportunity to see things more clearly, and finally find happiness. I have long thought about writing this type of book, one in which someone gets a second chance and a window into something that would otherwise be lost.

I would write more now, but I have to go see what happens with Kate and Max!
Visit Elizabeth LaBan's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Restaurant Critic's Wife.

--Marshal Zeringue