Join us to celebrate the launch of Erika Carter's LUCKY YOU in conversation with Maris Kreizman.
Your twenties are the time to go out, dance, and make mistakes, but there’s a catch. Practical questions need answering too: how to earn money, where to live, who to love. For most of us, including Erika Carter’s young female protagonists, the answers aren’t so clear. Reading LUCKY YOU, one can’t help but resonate and feel a nostalgic connection with Carter’s characters. Impulsive at best and self-destructive at worst, each perfectly embodies that all too familiar age of uncertainty, of boredom, of heartache.
Three women, early twenties, find themselves aimlessly adrift in Erika Carter’s fierce and darkly funny debut novel. Ellie, Chloe, and Rachel are friends (sort of); waitresses at the same tired bar in the Arkansas college town they’ve stuck around in too long. Each is becoming unmoored in her own way: Ellie obliterates all feeling with alcohol and self-destructive acts of sexual promiscuity; Chloe pulls out patches of her hair and struggles to keep incipient mental illness at bay; changeable Rachel has fallen under the sway of a messianic boyfriend with whom she’s agreed to live off-grid for a year in order to return to “health” and asks Ellie and Chloe to join them in “The Project.” In a remote, rural house in the Ozarks, nearly undone by boredom and the brewing tension between them, each tries to solve the conundrum of being alive.
By turns funny, knowing, and hauntingly sad, LUCKY YOU delivers the kind of study in damage and detachment that made Mary Gaitskill’s Bad Behavior or Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays so memorable. Early readers claim it has the same haunting undertones of Emma Cline’s The Girls (minus Charles Manson). With startling exactitude and wickedly deadpan humor, it lays bare the emotional core of its characters with surgical precision. The writing is deft and controlled, as natural and unforced as breath—which makes it impossible to look away.
Erika Carter lives in Richmond, Virginia. LUCKY YOU is her first novel. Visit her at @erikacscarter and erikacarter.net.
Maris Kreizman is the creator of Slaughterhouse 90210, a blog and book (Flatiron Books, 2015) that celebrates the intersection of her two great loves--literature and pop culture. She is a writer and critic whose work has appeared in the New York Times, BuzzFeed, The Hairpin, Vulture, Medium, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and more. A former book editor, Maris takes special pleasure in critiquing her own writing.
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