A big thank you to Caroline Leavitt, author of Cruel Beautiful World for guest posting, as well as for sharing her favorite books.
As all know here I am a book lover from way back. Therefore to have a best selling author guest on my blog is a pretty exciting and awesome experience for me.
Plus, I am also ecstatic for Caroline’s awesome giveaway for her book, Cruel Beautiful World. So you are going to want to check this out below now:
I’m so honored to be guest hosting today, so get barefoot, grab some lemonade, and let’s get to know one another, okay?
I want to giveaway a signed copy of my novel, Cruel Beautiful World, along with a little watercolor I will paint!
To enter, you have a week from this posting to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me a story about the 1960s and 70s, where the book takes place! I’ll have my son pick the winner out of a hat!
So—I’m Caroline Leavitt, the author of Cruel Beautiful World, which will be in paperback August 8th.
I’m a two-time NYT Bestseller and critically acclaimed—and this is said in wonder, rather than boasting, because though my first novel was a success, novels 2-8 were failures. Absolute failures. My 9th novel, Pictures of You, was actually rejected on contract, as not being special enough! I knew my career was over, but an editor at Algonquin heard of the book and bought it. (I kept saying, “Are you sure? Are you sure?”) They turned that little non-special book into a NYT bestseller its first month out.
I also review books for the Boston Globe, People, The San Francisco Chronicle, and when I am very, very lucky, The New York Times. And I teach writing online at UCLA and Stanford, and I work with private clients.
I’ve been wanting to write Cruel Beautiful Years since I was 17, but I never knew how. A friend of mine, also 17, who was engaged to a 30 year-old-sort-of-controlling guy decided to break off with him. He stabbed her 45 times and then vanished. I was so upset, I just couldn’t figure out how to write about it. Not until ten years later, when after the death of my fiancé, I rushed into a controlling relationship to keep me from grieving. This new boyfriend wouldn’t let me eat. He monitored my friends. He made me see myself differently and it took me two years to get out of the relationship, but when I did, I understood how my high school friend could have stayed with her controlling boyfriend, and I started to write the novel.
Want a fun fact?
My own mom fell in love “for the first time” at the age of 93, and I put her in the book!
Want another fun fact?
The book is set in the sixties and the 70s, and when Love’s Baby Soft, the perfume of choice back then, found out, they sent me a t-shirt!
I hope you will read and love my novel. You can find more about it here: www.carolineleavitt.com.
WHAT AM I READING?
I read everything in sight, sometimes four books at once. Sometimes the backs of cereal boxes and almost always whatever someone else is reading who is sitting beside me on the subway. These are some faves:
With an African backdrop, a prose so rich each word is often a diamond, Sorell’s book tracks just how well we know—or-don’t know—our mothers, and what we do with the information when we get it. Plus, it has one of the best first sentences EVER.
Bill is a fellow Algonquin writer, and his collection of short stories is both strange and full of wonder, heartbreaking and very funny. An old man has an epiphany while doing King Lear. Three sisters go after a teenager. Come on, you know you want to read this one!
This one is for anyone who has ever felt terrified, trapped or unhappy with yourself—and that’s all of us, right? Roxane Gay talks about how her weight does and doesn’t define her.
Is there anything that she cannot do? I don’t think so.