Monday, July 1, 2019

Laura Sibson

Laura Sibson worked for years as a career counselor for undergraduates before getting her MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. When she’s not writing, counseling, or drinking impossibly strong coffee, you can find her running miles around her home in Philadelphia, walking her dog, or ingesting pop culture (along with great takeout) with her family.

Her new YA novel is The Art of Breaking Things.

Recently I asked Sibson about what she was reading. Her reply:
It’s not uncommon for me to be reading several books at once and now is no exception. After seeing Endgame for the second time, my 19-year-old suggested, nay demanded, that I read Watchmen for a different take on superheroes. I’m haven’t read many graphic novels and I’m stunned by interplay between the images and the text bubbles.

I’m listening to an audio-version of Sarah Carlson’s debut young adult novel All the Walls of Belfast, which is the dual-narration story of two teens whose families have lived on opposite sides of the Northern Ireland conflict. I’m swooning over the story and the accents of the narrators. Carlson’s depiction of the ways that the conflict has affected generations is challenging me to deeply consider similar current conflicts. Sarah and I will be on a panel along with several other 2019 YA debuts where we will be talking about tackling tough issues in our fiction, so I was looking forward to reading her book before we meet.

I’m also beta-reading the brilliant, new novel by writing friend and fellow VCFA alum, Heather Demetrios. Little Universes follows two sisters, one biological and one adopted, as they try to process the loss of their parents to a tsunami. Mae, who is very science-minded, tries to work out every life situation the same way that she’d work out a calculus or physics problem. Hannah, on the other hand, looks for signs from Something Else and finds herself driven back to her addiction. When the sisters learn about the secrets each are keeping from the other, it’s apparent that neither of their approaches will solve these problems. Heather is one of my favorite writers. I love her mind-blowing metaphors and the ways that she allows her characters to experience their worlds.

The last book I’ve been dipping into every now and then to make it last as long as possible is the absolutely delightful (and useful!) Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer, the Chief Copyeditor at Random House. Buy this book for the grammar tips; enjoy it for the footnotes.
Visit Laura Sibson's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Laura Sibson and Nala.

--Marshal Zeringue