Monday, January 16, 2023

Small World by Laura Zigman


A year after her divorce, Joyce is settling into being single again. She likes her job archiving family photos and videos, and she’s developed a secret comforting hobby: trolling the neighborhood social networking site, Small World, for posts that help solve life’s easiest problems. When her older sister, Lydia, also divorced, calls to tell her she’s moving back east from Los Angeles after almost thirty years away, Joyce invites Lydia to move into her Cambridge apartment. Temporarily. Just until she finds a place of her own.

But their unlikely cohabitation—not helped by annoying new neighbors upstairs—turns out to be the post-divorce rebound relationship Joyce hadn’t planned on. Instead of forging the bond she always dreamed of having with Lydia, their relationship frays. And they rarely discuss the loss of their sister, Eleanor, who was significantly disabled and died when she was only ten years old. When new revelations from their family’s history come to light, will those secrets further split them apart, or course correct their connection for the future?

Written with wry humor and keen sensitivity, Small World is a powerful novel of sisterhood and hope—a reminder that sometimes you have to look back in order to move ahead. 

Pick up your copy here...

Laura Zigman is the author of five novels, including Separation Anxiety (which was just optioned by Julianne Nicholson and the production company Wiip for a limited television series); Animal Husbandry (which was made into the movie Someone Like You, starring Hugh Jackman and Ashley Judd), Dating Big Bird, Her, and Piece of Work. She has ghostwritten/collaborated on several works of non-fiction, including Eddie Izzard's New York Times bestseller, Believe Me; been a contributor to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Huffington Post; produced a popular online series of animated videos called Annoying Conversations; and was the recipient of a Yaddo residency. Her sixth novel, Small World, will be published in January 2023. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Long Version:

Laura Zigman grew up in Newton, Massachusetts (where she felt she never quite fit in), and graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (where she didn't fit in either) and the Radcliffe Publishing Procedures Course (where she finally started to feel like she fit in). She spent ten years working (slaving away) in New York in book publishing where she was a (much-abused under-appreciated) publicist for Alfred A. Knopf and other divisions of Random House. After moving to Washington, D.C. and working briefly for The Smithsonian Associates (she had a cubicle), she (finally) finished her first novel. (The thinly-disguised autobiographical novel) Animal Husbandry was published in 1998 and became a national bestseller. It was published in over 20 countries and in 2001 the film based on the book, 'Someone Like You,' (they changed the title at the last minute because they were afraid people wouldn't 'get' the meaning of the original title, not that she's complaining) starring Ashley Judd and (excuse her while she drools) Hugh Jackman, was released. Her second (thinly-disguised autobiographical) novel, Dating Big Bird, came out in 2000, and her third (thinly disguised autobiographical) novel, Her, published by Knopf (where she once worked ' an exquisite irony), followed in 2002. Her next (thinly-disguised autobiographical) novel, Piece of Work, was published in 2006 and was based on her (horrific but entertaining) experiences as a publicist, It was optioned by Tom Hanks' production company, Playtone Pictures, and had My Big Fat Greek Wedding's Nia Vardalos (luff her) attached to write the screenplay and star in the movie (obviously that never happened). For a while she stopped writing fiction (writer's block) and ghostwrote instead (for Wendy Davis and Eddie Izzard, among others). Eventually she found her way back to her own work. Separation Anxiety was published in March 2020, right before the pandemic, and has been optioned by Julianne Nicholson ("Mare of Easttown") for a limited television series. Her sixth novel, SMALL WORLD, will be published on January 10, 2023. She currently lives in Cambridge, MA.