Dear TCL Readers,
The Real Lolita has been out for about five weeks and….a whole lot has happened. I have done events in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Washington, Philadelphia, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Victoria, Dallas, Houston, and Phoenix, meeting so many wonderful readers, booksellers, fellow authors, literary event organizers, and admirers on both sides of the border. Whether the turnout was low or high, whether I signed many or few copies, whether there were family members, dear friends, professional acquaintances, elementary school teachers (twice!), or complete strangers, it was lovely to meet you and see you and I’ll never forget the experience of this book tour.
And it’s not over yet. Between now and mid-November I’m doing events in Manhattan (tonight! details here) and then Austin, Chicago, Portland, OR, and Miami. More details on the later events, all at book or cultural festivals, are available at my website.
The press the book’s received is the stuff of dreams, where pretty much every major publication that could have chimed in has chimed in, with more still to come. Here are the highlights, as best as I could keep track, of The Real Lolita coverage since publication:
Interviews by NPR Weekend Edition Saturday, WNYC’s “All Of It”, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Dallas Morning News, the Forward, HeyAlma, Salon, Global News’ The Morning Show, Electric Literature, the New York Public Library’s podcast, my hometown newspaper, The Ottawa Citizen, and Hazlitt, bringing things full-circle.
Reviews in the New York Times Book Review (which also named TRL an Editor’s Choice), the New Yorker’s “Briefly Noted” column, Fresh Air, NPR.org, the Guardian, O Magazine, the SF Chronicle, Newsday, the Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Inquirer, NJ.com, the Huffington Post, Elle.com (and Elle Australia!) the Literary Review, the LA Review of Books (one rave, one mixed), and People, which made it a “Book of the Week”.
I’ve also published some book-adjacent pieces over the past few weeks, including:
At Longreads, the case of George Edward Grammer, who tried and failed to stage the murder of his wife, Dorothy, as a car accident, and whose story was also memorialized in Lolita
For my “Crime Lady” column for CrimeReads, a close examination of Vladimir Nabokov’s public disdain (but far more complex private feelings) for crime fiction
And at The Cut, a specific grievance about John Hockenberry’s now-infamous Harper’s essay — one I wasn’t going to read, and then he invoked Lolita…
(some other pieces are due to appear later this fall, and a couple that I wrote ending up not getting placed, because that’s how it goes; it’s proven, to me at least, that op-eds are not my forte and should generally be left to other people, while I’ll continue to play in the land of longform.)
Some of the books I read while on tour:
Normal People by Sally Rooney, out now in the UK and in April in the US & Canada, which I think is even better than her brilliant Conversations With Friends. What a marvelous writer, sentence by sentence.
The Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector, which were generally disquieting and off-kilter but in a way that felt like a respite from constant travel? I loved the feeling of disorientation that prevails in her work.
Nobody Cares by Anne Donahue, which was delightful and funny and a blast of an essay collection
Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser, deserving and then some of its Pulitzer, a masterful biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the worlds she inhabited, in addition to exploring the most incredibly complex relationship she had with her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane
Radiant Shimmering Light by Sarah Selecky, which might be the first novel I’ve read that weaponizes exclamation points (and is a wicked satire of the wellness industry, too)
Hollywood’s Eve by Lili Anolik, about which I’ll probably say more closer to its January publication, but for now, whether you love and have read all of Eve Babitz’s work or have never heard of her, this book is a must
Bad Blood by John Carreyrou, which sure does read like a thriller, and is very much in keeping with this, our Year of the Grifter.
Finally, a few of my favorite photos from book tour. (The one at the top was taken by Patrick Millikin right before our conversation at The Poisoned Pen.) Here’s one of my and my mother, from the Ottawa book launch, neither of us having any clue we would subsequently survive a tornado:
Me signing stock at Mysterious Bookshop earlier this month:
And finally, this candid shot of me, Esi Edugyan, and Sheena Kamal, after our joint reading at the Victoria Festival of Authors:
Until next time, I remain,
The Crime Lady