320 pages, 9.33 × 6.29 × 1.05 in
January 8, 2014
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1594488452
ISBN - 13: 9781594488450
About the Book
The enchanting story of a midwestern girl who escapes a family tragedy and is remade as a movie star during Hollywood's golden age. Written with warmth and verve, it confirms Straub's reputation as one of the most exciting new talents in fiction.
Read from the Book
THE NURSEMAID Fall 1941 The studio lawyers made everything easy: Within two years of her initial contract, Elsa was divorced and Laura had never been married. Gardner Brothers represented both Laura and Gordon, though it was easy to see whom the bosses favored. Who was Gordon but a sidekick, a bit player? Louis Gardner arranged to help Laura ?nd a bigger house, perfect for her and the two girls and one nanny. It was so easy to change a name: Clara and Florence became Emersons, as they should have been from the start. Elsa couldn’t believe she’d ever let herself or her daughters carry the name Pitts. The lawyers never charged Laura for their time: It was all in the contract. No one in the papers asked the questions Laura thought they might: If you’ve never been married, where did these two girls come from, the stork? Questions that did not follow the script were simply not allowed. The divorce had been Elsa’s idea, which was to say it had been Laura’s idea too. She found that there were certain activities (feeding the children, taking a shower) that she always did as Elsa, and others (going to dance class, speaking to Irving and Louis) thatshe did as Laura, as though there were a switch in the middle of her back. The problem had been that neither Elsa nor Laura wanted to be married to Gordon, who wanted to be married only to Elsa. Before the girls were born, Gordon seemed happy enough for Elsa to be an actress, but not when she was the mother of his children.Clara spent her da
From the Publisher
A Bookpage Best Books of 2012 pick
The enchanting story of a midwestern girl who escapes a family tragedy and is remade as a movie star during Hollywood’s golden age.
In 1920, Elsa Emerson, the youngest and blondest of three sisters, is born in idyllic Door County, Wisconsin. Her family owns the Cherry County Playhouse, and more than anything, Elsa relishes appearing onstage, where she soaks up the approval of her father and the embrace of the audience. But when tragedy strikes her family, her acting becomes more than a child¹s game of pretend.
While still in her teens, Elsa marries and flees to Los Angeles. There she is discovered by Irving Green, one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood, who refashions her as a serious, exotic brunette and renames her Laura Lamont. Irving becomes Laura’s great love; she becomes an Academy Award-winning actress—and a genuine movie star. Laura experiences all the glamour and extravagance of the heady pinnacle of stardom in the studio-system era, but ultimately her story is a timeless one of a woman trying to balance career, family, and personal happiness, all while remaining true to herself.
Ambitious and richly imagined, Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures is as intimate—and as bigger-than-life—as the great films of the golden age of Hollywood. Written with warmth and verve, it confirms Emma Straub’s reputation as one of the most exciting new talents in fiction.
About the Author
Emma Straub is from New York City. Her fiction and non-fiction have been published by Tin House, The Paris Review Daily, Time, Slate, and The New York Times, and she is a staff writer for Rookie. Straub lives with her husband in Brooklyn, where she also works as a bookseller.
"At once iconic and specific, Emma Straub's beautifully observed first novel explores the fraught trajectory of what has become a staple of the American dream: the hunger for stardom and fame. Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures affords an intimate, epic view of how that dream ricochets through one American life." – Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad "Emma Straub is a magician, full of brilliance and surprise."— Lorrie Moore "An exquisite debut novel that brings Depression-era Hollywood to life with startling immediacy. Laura Lamont is a memorable character, and Emma Straub illuminates her inner life with uncanny authority."— Tom Perrotta, author of The Leftovers and Little Children “I absolutely loved this tale of one woman's incredible journey from small town girl to movie star. Straub brings Old Hollywood fully to life, in all its glamour, excess, ruthlessness, and beauty. I didn't want this marvelous novel to end.”— J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Commencement and Maine “Fantastic…a stunningly intimate portrayal of one woman's life.”—Entertainment Weekly “Straub’s brisk pacing and emotionally complex characters keep the story fresh…This bewitching novel is ultimately a celebration of those moments when we drop the act and play the hardest role of all: ourselves.”—O, The Oprah Magazine “[A] timeless tale with true heartfelt warmth throughout…one of the most entertaining novels this fall.”—Matchbook Magazine “delightful… mesmerizing.”—The Miami Herald “at