Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures (Hardcover)
September 2012 Indie Next List
“Despite what the gorgeous dresses, extravagant jewelry, and exotic mansions might suggest, movie stars are people, too. Elsa Emerson learns as a nine-year-old in Door County, Wisconsin, that she loves the limelight, and she spends her life both seeking it out and resisting it. Elsa moves to Hollywood, becomes film star Laura Lamont, loves, loses, succeeds, and fails. Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures gives readers a well-crafted, wistful, inside look into the glory days of Tinseltown.”
— Hannah Johnson-Breimeier, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI
A Bookpage Best Books of 2012 pick
The enchanting story of a midwestern girl who escapes a family tragedy and is remade as a movie star during Hollywood's golden age.
In 1920, Elsa Emerson, the youngest and blondest of three sisters, is born in idyllic Door County, Wisconsin. Her family owns the Cherry County Playhouse, and more than anything, Elsa relishes appearing onstage, where she soaks up the approval of her father and the embrace of the audience. But when tragedy strikes her family, her acting becomes more than a child's game of pretend.
While still in her teens, Elsa marries and flees to Los Angeles. There she is discovered by Irving Green, one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood, who refashions her as a serious, exotic brunette and renames her Laura Lamont. Irving becomes Laura's great love; she becomes an Academy Award-winning actress and a genuine movie star. Laura experiences all the glamour and extravagance of the heady pinnacle of stardom in the studio-system era, but ultimately her story is a timeless one of a woman trying to balance career, family, and personal happiness, all while remaining true to herself.
Ambitious and richly imagined, "Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures" is as intimate and as bigger-than-life as the great films of the golden age of Hollywood. Written with warmth and verve, it confirms Emma Straub's reputation as one of the most exciting new talents in fiction.
About the Author
Emma Straub is from New York City. Her fiction and non-fiction have been published by "Tin House, The Paris Review Daily," "Time, Slate, "and "The New York Times, "and she is a staff writer for "Rookie." Straub lives with her husband in Brooklyn, where she also works as a bookseller.