Laura Lippman is an American author of detective fiction.
It's a long-time pet peeve of mine that great stories about adolescent boys (Huckleberry Finn) are seen as classics while wonderfully observed novels about adolescent girls often don't get their due (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn). Abbott is one of the writers helping to balance the scales, using the lives of teenage girls to explore the true mysteries of life. The Fever is her latest exploration/excavation. And it will give you chills.
THE STORY: The nameless narrator of this blistering monologue lies ill and alone in a dreary hotel room in a poverty-stricken country. A political execution is about to take place beneath his window. Far from the glib comforts of his own life, he s
This first novel reminded me of Stewart O'Nan's Snow Angels, right down to the devastating last line. There are novels (all too rare) where something good becomes something great in the final pages. The Unknowns, while seemingly the story of just one young man and his troubled love life, expands where other such stories might close in on themselves.
Eric Muller has been trying to hack the girlfriend problem for half his life. As a teenage geek, he discovered his gift for programming computers-but his attempts to understand women only confirm that he's better at writing code than connecting with human beings. Brilliant, neurotic, and lonely, Eric spends high school in the solitary glow of a screen. By his early twenties, Eric's talent has made him a Silicon Valley millionaire. He can coax girls into bed with ironic remarks and carefully timed intimacies, but hiding behind wit and empathy gets lonely, and he fears that love will always be out of reach. So when Eric falls for the beautiful, fiercely opinionated Maya Marcom, and she miraculously falls for him too, he's in new territory. But the more he learns about his perfect girlfriend's unresolved past, the further Eric's obsessive mind spirals into confusion and doubt. Can he reconcile his need for order and logic with the mystery and chaos of love? This brilliant debut ushers Eric Muller-flawed, funny, irresistibly endearing-into the pantheon of unlikely heroes. With an unblinking eye for the absurdities and horrors of contemporary life, Gabriel Roth gives us a hilarious and heartbreaking meditation on self consciousness, memory, and love.
True Believers made me a true believer that some male novelists can write in a woman's voice and head. As for the Rakoff book, I'm not the biggest Salinger fan (I love maybe five of the Nine Stories, find A Catcher in the Rye painfully over-rated) but Rakoff's memoir of her time as an assistant at a literary agency is really about that particular post-college time when one is counting pennies and wondering if life has truly started yet.