Monday, April 23, 2007

Laura Lippman Visits Jamie’s Home

Columbus, Ohio’s Thurber House, a Midwestern literary landmark where native son James Thurber once lived, hosted crime novelist Laura Lippman earlier this evening, as part of her promotional tour for What the Dead Know, which recently cracked the New York Times Best Seller List, and received a rave on Sunday from mystery critic Marilyn Stasio.

Speaking to a crowd of nearly 200 people, Lippman captivated her audience with the back story for her latest novel, a standalone work that centers around the true-life case of two teenage girls who went missing in Baltimore in 1975, never to be seen or heard from again. Lippman related that all you need to do is pass the shopping mall where those girls were last seen, and if you’re in the company of a fellow Baltimore native, the chilling silence can stop a conversation in its tracks.

Lippman then read from What the Dead Know, which was followed by an energetic question-and-answer exchange. We learned, for instance, that this novel’s title was the last thing to be written, and came after a feverish weekend spent scanning the Bible, poetry, and Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations; that the book sprang from the happiness in Lippman’s personal life; and that she considers herself to be more of a reader than a writer.

Over the last 20 years, Thurber House has played host to such literary luminaries as Toni Morrison, Garrison Keillor, David Sedaris, and John Updike. Those writers are now joined by the newest Thurber guest, Laura Lippman.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Steve,

Thank you for the write-up. And the photo, which I think should be Exhibit A in my long-held assertion that the person I most resemble, in profile if not temperament, is Sweet Polly Purebred.