In this Long Distance conversation, bestselling author and independent bookstore owner Emma Straub speaks with Literary Arts’ Amanda Bullock about her recently released novel, All Adults Here. The book is a warm, funny, and keenly perceptive novel about the life cycle of one family–as the kids become parents, grandchildren become teenagers, and a matriarch confronts the legacy of her mistakes. In their discussion, Straub and Bullock talk about world-building in realist fiction, how contemporary lit writers reckon with modern politics, and the strange way time contracts and expands in our lives.
“When I wrote The Vacationers, I felt like I figured out who I was as a novelist, because it was in my voice and it was my world, and that included humor. I’m not saying that writing is easy, or should be easy, because it is not. But when the writing itself is closer to your own voice, then you’re able to get in deeper. And for me, humor is often how I deal with uncomfortable situations or sad situations.”
Emma Straub is the New York Times-bestselling author of three other novels, Modern Lovers, The Vacationers and Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, and the short story collection Other People We Married. Her most recent book is All Adults Here. Her books have been published in twenty countries. She and her husband own Books Are Magic, an independent bookstore in Brooklyn, New York.