Laura & Emma


Product Details

$16.00  $14.88
S&s/ Marysue Rucci Books
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.2 X 1.0 inches | 0.6 pounds
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About the Author

Kate Greathead is the author of Laura & Emma. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, and on PRX's The Moth Radio Hour. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, the writer Teddy Wayne, and their children.



"Greathead's debut, which often has the feel of an updated version of Mrs. enlivened by flashes of sardonic humor...[and] the surprising, poignant and beautifully composed final scene...This carefully observed family story rings true to life."--New York Times Book Review

"[A] sly, charming debut...Laura and Emma's struggles are real, and their saga makes for a beguiling, addictive read."--People (Book of the Week)

"For a privileged Manhattan daughter who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, raising a child alone is pearl-clutchingly radical in Kate Greathead's wryly observed, 1980s-set first novel." --Vogue

"A deft exploration of conflict, both class and interfamilial, in 1980s blue-blood New York." --Marie Claire

"Greathead's smart and original take on the mother-daughter novel impresses and charms."--Booklist

"Kate Greathead's debut novel gamely takes on class conflict, single motherhood, and the discreet pretension of the 1980s Upper East Side through the story of Laura, a daughter of privilege who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant after a one-night stand." --New York Magazine

"[A] warmhearted debut novel...The supporting characters who come in and out of Laura's life over the years sparkle with idiosyncrasies...Greathead is a talented writer of detail, particularly in her evocations of New York life--subway sobbing, could-be celebrity sightings, the joy of a favorite grocery store...This is a thoughtful novel of trying to find oneself despite an assigned place in the world."--Publishers Weekly

"Who wouldn't want to get an inside peek into the rarefied world of New York City's elite in the 1980s and 90s? That's exactly what this smart, witty novel offers as it explores the strength of the bonds of family, class, weather, and privilege, leading many of its characters (to say nothing of its readers) wondering just how strong their own constructed identities are, and what it might take to make everything come crashing down."--Nylon

"If the title of Kate Greathead's debut evokes a Jane Austen novel, well, it's fitting for an incisive comedy of manners about class divides and the 'burdens' of being born privileged."--Esquire

"Kate Greathead classes it up with her debut, Laura & Emma." --Vanity Fair

"Each restrained and understated sentence has been polished to glittering brightness... despite this novel's enormous restraint and despite the surface pleasures of its comedy, Laura &Emma is a profoundly sad book. It's loneliness in the form of a novel, and beneath its fierce quietness, there's an ache that never stops."--Vox

"A layered story about mothers and daughters and identity."--Entertainment Weekly

"This debut from nine-time Moth StorySLAM winner Kate Greathead gives readers a behind-the-scenes peek at the lavish world of Upper East Side society through a series of vignettes." --Bustle

"Greathead, a nine-time Moth StorySLAM champion, spins a complex tale of social class and family warfare that follows the quiet struggles of a single mother raising her daughter among the upper crust of New York society." --The Millions

"Greathead has wrought a tale of subtle beauty more closely akin to the proud and obedient midwesterners of Evan S. Connell's fiction...Greathead's power as a prose stylist and storyteller converge to create scenes that will linger with you for days after reading them...The characters in this book live in a world few of us will relate to, but in Greathead's hands, their humanity is deeply felt."--ESME

"This novel makes a seemingly unlikable character sympathetic and interesting to the point that her story becomes unputdownable. Set against the backdrop of the 1980s to mid-1990s, this debut by a Moth ­StorySLAM champion will appeal to readers of character-driven women's fiction." --Library Journal

"This ultimately rather mysterious book, with its attenuated plot and restrained humor, is like a person who speaks so softly that you end up paying very close attention."--Kirkus Reviews

"Few books can grapple with the weighty legacy of Mrs. Bridge and come out standing; this one does. Stylish and understated, with grace notes everywhere, ironic reversals at the ends of sections, and resonant lines of dialogue that quiver with multiple meanings. The tone is arch, contrapuntal, and the anthropology here is brilliant; Greathead is such a keen observer of this world of people laden by the customs of privilege, who struggle to express their feelings, or even have them in the first place, and she finds affect in unexpected corners. Objects return with talismanic power and we track their movements with great appreciation of the artistry involved. It's devastating to watch these characters sabotage their own and others' happiness, and Greathead sticks the landing with a remarkably moving ending. --Matthew Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Not Ourselves

"A big-hearted book, tenderly intelligent and mirthfully incisive in its exploration of family, class, and the difficulty of reconciling our own natures with the way we nurture others. In Greathead's capable hands, Laura & Emma become luminously real, a lens through which the rarefied, often contradictory world of elite New York comes charmingly alive."--Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine

"I stayed up all night to finish Laura & Emma. Weeks later, I'm still thinking about Laura, still bothered by her troubles, and marveling at how Kate Greathead made these characters and this world so real to me. A brave, unassuming, wonderful first novel."--Rebecca Schiff, author of The Bed Moved