Thursday, November 7, 2019

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, Not Perfect, and Pretty Little World, which she co-authored with Melissa DePino. She also wrote 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.

LaBan's new novel is Beside Herself.

Recently I asked the author about what sh was reading. LaBan's reply:
I am a firm believer that whatever is going on in your life can greatly affect your connection to a book. I think that’s why I love reading about marriage and family life so much, and literally couldn’t put down the book Fleishman Is In Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner when I read it recently. For that reason, I decided to read Less by Andrew Sean Greer right now during the weeks my novel Beside Herself is brand new in the world because I want to read about the plight of another author. The book, which won the Pulitzer Prize, is about Arthur Less who is described on the back of the book as a failed novelist. He is struggling with his love life, and, in an effort to escape, embarks on a journey around the world. As the book opens, Arthur Less is heading to another, more successful author’s book event where he and the other author will be “in conversation” together. There is a moment at the beginning of the book when Less wonders what he and the author will talk about that rang so true to me I would like to write it on a piece of paper and frame it. And yet, what is there to ask him? Less thought to himself as he arrived at the venue where the event would take place. What does one ever ask an author except, “How?” And the answer, as Less well knows, is obvious: “Beats me!”

I am enjoying the book very much. And to take that a step further, I feel lucky that two bestselling authors are helping launch my book by agreeing to be “in conversation” with me. Last week Camille Pagan did an event with me, and next week I am doing an event with Jennifer Weiner. In preparation for those events I reread Camille’s most recent book I’m Fine and Neither Are You, which I loved so much I think I enjoyed it as much the second time as I did the first. And I also just read Jen’s spooky Halloween story "Everyone’s A Critic," which I also loved so much. It went by way too quickly, and my one and only complaint was that it was too short and I wish she had written the same story in novel form so I could stay in that world longer. At least that will give us something to talk about!
Visit Elizabeth LaBan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue