Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures

Author(s): Emma Straub

Fiction - Contemporary

This is a delicious debut novel set in 1930s Hollywood: The story of a young starlet for whom the cost of fame is too high.


Laura Lamont is born Elsa Emerson, the youngest of three sisters, in Door County, Wisconsin in 1920. After a family tragedy propels Elsa to marry and move to Hollywood, she's discovered and renamed by the head of a major studio. Her sudden rise to fame sets a course that involves three marriages, two children, a drug addiction and a persistent conflict between her small-town upbringing and new-found status. As the veneer of stardom crumbles, the novel asks: How many people can we be over the course of our lives? How much can we change? And at what cost?


Laura Lamont's Life In Pictures is an ode to imagination, an inquiry into the nature of celebrity, and a rollicking tale about love, family, and mistakes. It is a compelling, dramatic story set in the rich atmosphere of 1930s Hollywood.

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"At once iconic and specific, Emma Straub's beautifully observed first novel explores the fraught trajectory of what has become a staple of the American dream: the hunger for stardom and fame. Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures affords an intimate, epic view of how that dream ricochets through one American life." - Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad

""Emma Straub is a magician, full of brilliance and surprise." - Lorrie Moore

"An exquisite debut novel that brings Depression-era Hollywood to life with startling immediacy. Laura Lamont is a memorable character, and Emma Straub illuminates her inner life with uncanny authority." - Tom Perrotta, author of The Leftovers and Little Children

"I absolutely loved this tale of one woman's incredible journey from small town girl to movie star. Straub brings Old Hollywood fully to life, in all its glamour, excess, ruthlessness, and beauty. I didn't want this marvelous novel to end." - J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Commencement and Maine

General Fields

  • : 9781447203186
  • : Pan Macmillan
  • : Picador
  • : June 2012
  • : 234mm X 153mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : November 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Emma Straub
  • : Paperback
  • : Open market ed
  • : 813.6
  • : 256