Friday, July 27, 2018

Elizabeth Klehfoth

Elizabeth Klehfoth grew up in Elkhart, Indiana. She received her BFA in creative writing from Chapman University and her MFA in creative writing from Indiana University, where she taught fiction writing and composition. She currently lives in Los Angeles. All These Beautiful Strangers is her first novel.

Recently I asked Klehfoth about what she was reading. Her reply:
I recently finished Judy Blundell’s The High Season, which follows three women in a small town in the Hamptons that’s on the brink of becoming trendy and fashionable among the extremely wealthy and celebrity crowd. There’s Ruthie, a forty-something director of a local museum, who has a teen daughter and is hopeful of rekindling her relationship with her separated husband. Although Ruthie and her husband own a house in town, they are forced to rent it out during the summer to afford to keep it. When they rent it out to Adeline Clay, a wealthy socialite, and her son, Ruthie’s life quickly becomes upended, and she starts to lose her grasp on everything she cares about—her job, her family, and her home. The book also follows Jem, Ruthie’s 15-year old daughter, who’s juggling a falling-out with the popular girls at school and a crush on the handsome and troublesome son of the tenant renting her house for the summer. And finally, there’s Doe, a young woman who’s trying to make her way in the world despite a troubled past by rubbing elbows (and snapping Instagram shots) of the well-to-do in the Hamptons. I loved this novel and devoured it in just a few days. It’s a poignant story that explores the dividing line between the have and the have-nots, is full of laugh-out-loud lines and heartbreak, and is all about second chances, finding yourself, and new beginnings.

I’m currently reading Curtis Sittenfeld’s latest book, You Think, I’ll Say It, which is a collection of short stories. I’ve been a fan of Sittenfeld’s since her debut novel Prep, which was actually a big influence on my first book. Sittenfeld is a master of expertly capturing the interiority of complex characters and exploring their insecurities in a way that makes you instantly relate to and empathize with them.

The book on my nightstand that I plan to read next is Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, her non-fiction investigation into the case of the Golden State Killer, which was instrumental in actually capturing the serial rapist/murderer. I’m a huge true crime fan, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book.
Visit Elizabeth Klehfoth's website.

--Marshal Zeringue