The Diamond Lane

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Product Details

$18.95  $17.62
Hawthorne Books
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.9 X 1.2 inches | 1.25 pounds

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About the Author

Karen Karbo is the author of 14 award-winning novels, memoirs, and works of nonfiction, including the best-selling Kick Ass Women series: Julia Child Rules, How Georgia Became O'Keeffe, The Gospel According to Coco Chanel, and How to Hepburn. Her 2004 memoir, The Stuff of Life, about the last year she spent with her father before his death, was a New York Times Notable Book, a People Magazine Critics' Choice, a Books for a Better Life Award finalist, and a winner of the Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. Her short stories, essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in Elle, Vogue, Esquire, Outside, The New York Times, Salon, and other magazines. She lives in Portland, OR.

Jane Smiley's novel A Thousand Acres won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1992, and her novel The All True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton won the 1999 Spur Award for Best Novel of the West. She lives in Carmel, CA.


"Karen Karbo is a very funny writer -- from near slapstick to wry wit. Amazing." --The New York Times

Praise for The Diamond Lane:
"A flawless, page-turning story . . . this is a tale to treasure."
--Publishers Weekly

"A wonderfully comic novel about savvy Hollywood outsiders trying to get in . . . not only is the plot ingenious, but the writing remains deft all the way through."
--The New York Times

"It is a testament to Karbo's skill at high comedy that the ending of this book -- a funeral rather than a wedding -- leaves you smiling."
--The New Yorker

"This astringent, humorous novel tackles two subjects ripe for satire: the Hollywood movie industry and marriage -- both notoriously fickle institutions requiring blind hope to sustain life."
--the Los Angeles Times

"This kind of novel is a devil to pull off . . . and Ms. Karbo has done her job brilliantly."
--The New York Times Book Review

"Karbo's story is timeless, and her writing is seamless. She is a keen, wry observer of the hazards of Hollywood and marriage and the fraught relationships between lovers, mothers and daughters and sisters. Filled with sharp characterizations and laugh-out-loud scenes, Karbo's early '90s-era novel proves that, in the right literary hands, the comedic absurdities of life never go out of style.
Shelf Talker: This smart early '90s-era comedy of manners about familial, romantic and Hollywood entanglements gets a timely reissue."
--Kathleen Gerard, blogger at

"The Diamond Lane overflows with sly and vicious observations about all that is superficial in the world of two over-the-top, narcissistic industries but in the midst of all the scathing satire and the withering prose, Karbo still manages luscious bits of insight into real human emotion.
The only problem with The Diamond Lane? The ride ends and I wanted to keep reading."
--Catherine Gilmore, Gilmore Guide to Books

"The Diamond Lane is a novel worth reading not only for its satirical sendup of Hollywood and its materialism, but also for its continuing relevance to the American way of life more than two decades after its first publication. Karbo speaks to all of us who have struggled to achieve our dreams, been fraught with the need for self-discovery, navigated intricate family relationships, and so often felt besieged by the expectations of society, especially in marriage."
--Alex Temblador, Colorado Review

"Anyone who has a sister I think will adore this book. Anybody who appreciates very smart, funny novels will like this book as well. It was one of my favorites when it first came out, and to find it again in a beautiful, beautiful presentation -- beautiful cover, everything about it. Hawthorne Books did a fabulous job."
--Nancy Pearl, Librarian and NPR Commentator, author of Book Lust