Next week, I have the pleasure of chatting with my friend Stephin Merritt about his new book, 101 Two-Letter Words. It's a really wonderful book of poems (one for each two-letter word admissible in Scrabble) illustrated by Roz Chast, and I know that Stephin is going to bring his ukulele to the event, which means that you should be excited. See you then! Info below.
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
What do you say when your publicity team calls you, giddy with excitement, and tells you that they want to drive a truck full of your books out to the tip of Long Island and drink beer all day long? You say YES. If you happen to find yourself on Long Island on Saturday, August 2nd, please join us!
If you've been to one of my readings, or seen my picture in a magazine, I was probably wearing a Ban.do. I wore one to my wedding! I'm obsessed. And lucky for me, the affection is totally mutual. My homegirls are having a Vacationers giveaway! You win the book, sunglasses, plus a tote bag full of my FAVE Ban.dos! It's the fucking best. Enter to win! Note: they may not actually send you a pineapple. Fingers crossed.
I'm delighted that Mashable has chosen The Vacationers as their book club pick. Visit Mashable for alllll the gory details, but here are the basics:
To get you started, we're giving away five copies of The Vacationers. All you need to do to enter is tell us your favorite vacation read of all time. You can tweet using the hashtag#MashReads or leave a comment on this post or our Facebook page. Tell us your favorite read before 12:00 a.m. ET on July 3, 2014. For official contest rules, visit this page.
How to Join the MashableReads Social Book Club
If you'd like to join the MashableReads book club and read The Vacationers with us, find us on Goodreads and Facebook. We'll also be hosting a Google+ hangout with Straub on Tuesday, August 5 at 4 p.m. ET. You can sign up to be reminded of the hangout here.
Are you in New York City? Join our Meetup group for the chance to meet MashableReads authors in person. Interested in starting your own Meetup in your community? Message us on Facebook. MashableReads book clubs get exclusive access to new authors.
Yesterday, I did some time traveling. Around 4 in the afternoon, I saw Janet Maslin's review of my book in the New York Times, a full day before it appeared in the actual paper. Then, just before 6, my agent called to tell me that the book had hit the New York Times Bestseller list, coming in at #18 in hardcover, #15 in e-book, and #19 combined. (The NYT must be as bad at math as I am, if #18 + #15 = #19.) All of this will be in next Sunday's paper. I truly won't believe it until I see it, but until then, I'm going to tell everyone, because then we can all live in this fantasy land together for a few days. Nobody pinch me. I love you.
Today is the day! The Vacationers is on sale at bookstores near you, at bookstores far away from you, at bookstores everywhere! I am beyond excited. There's an excerpt up on Medium, with the most wonderful illustrations. Check it out here!
There have been tons of great reviews, and here are a smattering:
Janet Maslin called the book "one of the summer's most entertaining novels" in the New York Times! I was on Entertainment Weekly's Must List! People Magazine said so many nice things I can't pick a favorite line, and so here's a picture of the whole thing!
The book tour starts up next week, and you can find all the details on the Events page. My launch party is at BookCourt (Brooklyn, NY) on June 3rd. Please come! I'd love to see you. Yes, you.
The summer reading lists keep rolling in, and The Vacationers continues to elbow its way into fancy company!
-The Boston Globe says you should read The Vacationers if you liked The Corrections! I agree! Also, if you like Nutella and swimming pools!
-Newsday calls the setting "delicious!"
The Vacationers comes out in 25 days, and it's starting to pop up on lots of summer reading lists. The Harper's Bazaar list has the fanciest graphics and the most glam company (see Dita Von Teese's Vivienne Westwood wedding dress, above), but I love all of these lists equally.
Woo hoo! The pub date is nearing, and with it, parties! I just set up the event page for my launch party at BookCourt, and if you live in NYC, please consider yourself very cordially invited! Also, just because, a giant box of Vacationers sunglasses (pictured below) arrived in the mail today. The first hundred or so people to buy the book at BookCourt will get a pair. Reason enough, no?
I know a shocking number of writers with books coming out very soon, and many of them are joining me in this massive book giveaway.
It's easy to enter, and you could win signed copies of ALL the books mentioned above. You might have to buy a new bookshelf! So, for my part of the giveaway, you're supposed to list some favorite vacation spots, and here are mine, in no particular order: Montauk, Palm Springs, the Oregon coast, Maine, a hammock, a swimming pool. That's really all I need. xoxoxo
It's so nice when people are nice. Here's another lovely starred review, this time from the folks at Booklist. I raise a glass of Rioja to you, my friends!
[STARRED] The Vacationers.
Straub, Emma (Author)
May 2014. 304 p. Riverhead, hardcover, $26.95. (9781594631573).
Straub’s second novel (Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, 2012) is contained in the two-week vacation of the extended Post family: Franny and Jim, married over 30 years; their teen daughter, Sylvia; twentysomething son Bobby, his girlfriend, Carmen, in tow; and Franny’s best friend, Charles, and his husband, Lawrence. Trading one grand island for another, the mainly Manhattanites arrive in Mallorca with, of course, a few secrets tucked in their literal baggage—and so begin the games that occur above the plane of the Scrabble board. Jim has suddenly left his beloved magazine job, and not everyone knows the circumstances; Sylvia’s excitement to get to Brown might have more to do with leaving home; Carmen wishes Bobby would ask his parents for that favor already; and it’s more than work emails keeping Lawrence searching for a WiFi signal. Straub masters a constantly changing flow of perspectives as readers wonder who will forgive and be forgiven in this sun-soaked, remote paradise. Spongy and dear, sharply observed and funny, Straub’s domestic-drama-goes-abroad is a delightful study of the complexities of family and love, and the many distractions from both.
— Annie Bostrom
Last night, I got to interview Lorrie at Symphony Space, which was a total delight. Here's what we looked like.
Someone in the audience asked Lorrie about the second person, and I said that I'd just written my first story using it--as a matter of fact, it's my Twitter Fiction story, which I'll start posting today! Half goes up from 11am-12pm EST today, and half goes up tomorrow night from 9pm-10pm EST. Riverhead designed me a cute little box that says so, as you can see below.
As Lorrie said, the second person is addictive, and so who knows, maybe I'll write a hundred more. One at a time.
Hope you tune in! And thank you thank you to Symphony Space for letting me sit next to Lorrie, forcing her to publicly acknowledge that I'm not her stalker. I mean, I'm not REALLY her stalker. Only a little bit. The nice kind.