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About Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures

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.


Praise:

"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 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 Maine
 

Author Bio: 


Emma Straub is from New York City. Her debut story collection Other People We Married, arrived in February 2012, also published by Riverhead Books. Her fiction and non-fiction have been published by Tin House, The Paris Review Daily, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Time, Slate, Cousin Corinne’s Reminder, and many other journals, and she is a staff writer for Rookie. Emma lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband.


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Emma Straub
Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures
Thu Sep 6, 7:00PM
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