Emma Straub's Home for Pictures of Cats and Other Objects Worthy of Our Attention
  • My Family Moved to Nashville for Nashville

    I wrote about Nashville (the show) and Nashville (the city) for Jezebel (the website.)

  • "If Lorrie had moved to Des Moines, we wouldn’t have gone. Not because Des Moines isn’t beautiful—it may well be—but because we weren’t spending an hour a week watching a nighttime soap opera about it. That year, my husband and I had fallen hook, line, and honky tonk for ABC’s Nashville, the show about two country musicians and the men who love them. The show had a large cast of dreamy-looking actors who were all, to our great delight, not only credible as singers but actually totally compelling, even when you weren’t looking at them. Connie Britton, who had won our hearts as Tami Taylor on Friday Night Lights, played Rayna James, a sort of Faith Hill/Trisha Yearwood/Rosanne Cash hybrid. Surely if we moved to Nashville, Connie would present herself. I imagined the sort of dinner parties where someone magically produced a guitar at dessert and everyone began to sing."
  • "As a child, I went on Club Med vacations with my family, and happily splashed around in the shallow waves, picking sand out of my bathing suit. I was a teenager in the 1990s, and the absolute apex of cool was when Brenda and Dylan (or Kelly and Dylan) cuddled on a beach blanket on a cool Californian night. Beaches are for relaxed, laid-back people, the kind of people who own both surfboards and dogs. I have lots of books and two cats. Beaches have always been my Kryptonite."
  • Reese Witherspoon has my book in her trailer. Excuse me while I go scream into a pillow for three hours.

    The Real Reese Witherspoon: Starring in Wild, the Girl Next Door Finds Her Edge — Vogue

  • "Her trailer is piled high with books: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler; Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty, by Diane Keaton; The Vacationers, by Emma Straub; The Light Between Oceans, by M. L. Stedman."
  • We’re hiring!

    communitybookstore:

    We’re hiring a part-time events assistant! If you love book events, are comfortable talking to large groups of strangers, and want to work with a belligerent cat, this might be the job for you. Contact Stephanie at events@communitybookstore.net for more information. 

    image

    With special thanks to jennirl from wordbookstores for her help and for her smart ideas about creating this new position.

     

    I want this job. I have to write a new book, however, so you should probably get this job instead. The people at Community are wonderful. Go team!

  • Summertime Wrap Up + New Books Ahead!

    It was quite a summer. All told, The Vacationers spent ten weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list. Ten weeks! That is crazy and amazing and I peeked through my fingers at it the whole time, so sure that it would vanish if I looked too closely. I feel deeply aware that selling so many books is an act of magic, of timing and luck and the right jacket and the right pub date. If you bought my book, or know someone who did, or checked it out of your local library, thank you. It boggles my mind to know that my book has been in so many hands. Thank you.

    And, if you read and liked the book, I have some good news. I’ve just sold my next two books to Riverhead, and am at work on the first of those novels now. It’s about a neighborhood, and ambition, and marriage, and music. There’s a teenaged boy. There’s a teenaged girl. There’s trouble in many forms. I’ll tell you more when there’s more to tell, but expect it tentatively to be coming out in June 2016. 

    Ever forward! xoxoxoo

  • I’ve written a drawerful of novels. Out of all six of them, two have been published. I’ve heard writers say that you have to relearn how to write a novel every time you do it, which I think is true in some ways, but it’s also true that there are some basic guidelines that can help you find your way—and novice-type pitfalls that you can avoid. This won’t work for everyone, or for every book, because fiction is art and art is made without rules and strict guidelines, but if you need a little help getting started, here is my Very Serious Guide to Writing a Novel. (via Rookie » How to Write a Novel)

    I wrote a guide to writing novels for Rookie. This is how it starts.

  • A Hamburger for Lapsed Vegetarians

    I talked to Yahoo about my hippie summer camp.

  • "We had all of our meals in this big old-fashioned dining hall, and there was one special table where all the vegetarian options were. The super cool thing was being a vegetarian, because it made you seem more sensitive and more aware and like you had opinions. Meanwhile, at home, I could not care less except for the fact that I was in love with River Phoenix, who was a vegan. (My almost 11-month-old son is named River. Old loves die hard.)"
  • danchaon:

    Cool surprise from this interview with Karen Russell that made me really happy:  

    Karen Russell: Back at Northwestern, I was fortunate enough to meet the excellent writer Dan Chaon, who came and talked to our writing class. I remember turning in a story to him that was way too long, some twenty-two-page mess about a lady who had a huge starfish and could see the future. I think the character was abducted by these two brothers—I don’t know, I’ve repressed the rest of it.

    But Dan was so kind to me about this story, and he told me I should be reading Kelly Link, George Saunders, Kevin Brockmeier. He alerted me to these contemporary writers who were writing weird, inventive stuff. They were New Wave Fabulists, he said.

    And I owe them a huge debt; I went on to become a blood-sworn fan of those writers. I felt a sort of tail-wagging joy, you know, reading these story collections. A recognition. It was like Dan rode through town and handed me a literary family tree.

  • Requiem for Rafa: The US Open Needs Nadal | Rolling Stone

    I wrote about Rafa Nadal for Rolling Stone.

  • "In recent years, my family has fallen into two clear camps: Federer and Nadal. My mother favors the former, as steady and beautiful as a Swiss timepiece, whereas my husband and I favor the latter. I like Rafa so much that I wrote him into my novel in two different ways, not even counting the fact that the book takes place on Mallorca, where Nadal is from. The creepiest thing I did was turn Rafa into a Spanish tutor and deliver him as a devirginating savior to my teenage heroine."