Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures by Emma Straub

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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 Emma Straub

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EMMA STRAUB'S fiction and nonfiction 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.
Published September 4, 2012 by Riverhead Books. 320 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures
All: 2 | Positive: 0 | Negative: 2

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Caryn James on Oct 05 2012 struggles to escape the burden of its sources...

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NY Journal of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Vinton Rafe McCabe on Sep 04 2012

Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures seems home-stitched, with frayed edges and finger smudges. A hastily madeup thing. A silly thing. And worst of all a predictable, boring thing.

Read Full Review of Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

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