Emma Straub's Home for Pictures of Cats and Other Objects Worthy of Our Attention
  • 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

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  • 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.

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  • "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.)"

    A Hamburger for Lapsed Vegetarians

    I talked to Yahoo about my hippie summer camp.

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  • oysterbooks:

    A New Take on Editorial & Discovery

    One of the original inspirations for starting Oyster was to reimagine bookstore browsing for a digital device. Paraphrased from my notes, shortly after starting Oyster with Andrew and Eric in late 2012: “The bookstore has endless shelves to browse, no…

    Nobody asked me, but here’s my additional blurb about Kevin.

    "Stylish and funny! Who let this guy work in publishing?!"—Emma Straub, bestselling author of The Vacationers. 

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  • 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.

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  • "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."

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

    I wrote about Rafa Nadal for Rolling Stone.

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  • "The girls’ smoking dorm is right next to the boys’ smoking dorm, and so we notice those boys first. We’ve all arrived at the same time, but somehow everyone (many of us are New Yorkers) already seems to know each other. I am the baby. We come up with code names for the boys we think are cute, and for the ones we don’t. One boy is called Busted Sofa because of a middle part that makes his head look like, well, a busted sofa. Another is called Spicy Poultry because he’s good-looking but in a generic, bland way. One boy is tall and smart and later in the summer will steal my father’s hat from a party at my parents’ house. Our favorites, though, our favorites, are a pair of fraternal twins who are, together and apart, so handsome and adult-looking that I am sure they are ageless vampires. Giving them nicknames would be like giving nicknames to the sun and the moon and so we don’t."

    Rookie » July, 1995

    I wrote about July of 1995 for Rookie.

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  • Ordered my 4 yr old friend a tutu from Claire’s Accessories and then accidentally orderes myself a pair of sunglasses from the Katy Perry collection.

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  • Yay @bookpeople! Now I want tacos for lunch. #Repost from @bookpeople with @repostapp —- “THE VACATIONERS by @emmastraub is a fantastic read. Believable characters, a quirky family on vacation in Mallorca, lots of secrets. I’m enjoying it very much.” - Kathleen

    For more of what we’re reading this week, check bookpeopleblog.wordpress.com later today. We’re busy rounding up what’s in our bags and on our pages today. #bookpeople #staffpick #shoplocal

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  • Rescued from my parents’ basement. Subscriber since 1991.

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