Friday, February 9, 2018

Elizabeth LaBan

Elizabeth LaBan lives in Philadelphia with her restaurant critic husband and two children. She is the author of The Restaurant Critic’s Wife, the young adult novel The Tragedy Paper, which has been translated into eleven foreign languages, and The Grandparents Handbook, which has been translated into seven foreign languages, and Pretty Little World, which she co-authored with Melissa DePino.

LaBan's new novel is Not Perfect.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
As an author, I am sometimes asked to read a book early – either to offer a blurb or to offer feedback. I was lucky enough to be asked to read This Bright Beauty by Emily Cavanagh, with the hope that I would like it enough to offer a blurb – and I did. I loved it. This is her second novel published by Lake Union Publishing, and I now plan to order her first. This one will be available on March 1. It is the story of twin sisters whose relationship shifts and changes over the course of their lives, but always remains one of the most important connections to both of them. Ultimately, it is about the importance of family and family history, and how the secrets people keep from each other can hold them together and ruin everything at the same time.

I often think there are two types of books – at least to me as a reader. There are those books that I am eager to get through to just see what happened. Sometimes with those I end up skimming. Then there are the books I don’t want to end, that I don’t want to miss a single word of. With those books, I want to be in the world of the characters for as long as I can. That is how I felt about This Bright Beauty. When I teach writing, I talk about this, and that the real goal of a writer is to achieve the latter, to draw people into the world you create and write a story good enough to make them want to be there.

Just before this book I read The Futures by Anna Pitoniak. I felt the same way about her book, that I didn’t want to miss a word, that I wanted to be in the world with the characters for as long as I could be, and that I was sorry when I turned that last page. I loved that book, too, and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good, absorbing read.

Now I am reading a friend’s draft of a novel she wrote that is also so good, but at the beginning stages. Maybe if I’m lucky enough to be asked this question by you again down the road that book will be out in the world, and I’ll be able to talk more about it. After that I plan to read Class Mom by Laurie Gelman and Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris.
Visit Elizabeth LaBan's website.

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

The Page 69 Test: Not Perfect.

--Marshal Zeringue