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The Resource Laura Lamont's life in pictures, Emma Straub

Laura Lamont's life in pictures, Emma Straub

Label
Laura Lamont's life in pictures
Title
Laura Lamont's life in pictures
Statement of responsibility
Emma Straub
Title variation
Laura Lamonts life in pictures
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Fleeing her family home in Wisconsin in the wake of a tragedy that compels her to pursue her acting career in golden-age Hollywood, Elsa enjoys the heady extravagances of her fame while struggling to remain true to herself and balance the needs of her family
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • In her debut novel (after her early-2012 story collection, Other People We Married), Straub weaves together snapshots of the long, large life of Elsa Emerson, the youngest daughter in a family of quintessentially blonde, corn-fed Midwestern sisters living in Door County, Wis. In the late 1920s, the family runs a summer playhouse, and Elsa’s first role, as a flower girl in Come Home, My Angel, coincides with a family tragedy. These two events shape her passion for acting and her desire to slip into a different character than that of the good, homespun girl she is. At 17, a few years before WWII, she moves to Los Angeles and finds Hollywood the perfect stage for her metamorphosis into Laura Lamont, a dark-haired, serious-eyed starlet who carries with her an air of mystery and gravity completely apart from her idyllic Midwestern upbringing. Written in a removed prose, Straub brings Elsa to life with the detached analysis of an actor examining a character, exemplifying Elsa’s own remote relationship to her identity. Through marriages, births, deaths, and career upheavals, Elsa and Laura coexist, sometimes uneasily—until Elsa learns to reconcile her two selves. An engaging epic of a life that captures the bittersweetness of growing up, leaving home, and finding it again. Agent: Jenni Ferrari-Adler, Brick House. (Sept.) --Staff (Reviewed July 2, 2012) (Publishers Weekly, vol 259, issue 27, p)
  • Born into a rural Wisconsin theater home in 1920, Elsa Emerson catches the acting bug at age nine. A family tragedy cements her determination to hit the silver screen, propelling her, eight years later, to marry fellow actor Gordon and head to Hollywood. An early pregnancy benches Elsa until she is discovered by powerful move executive Irving Green. He changes her name to Laura Lamont and remakes her image. The result? Stunning success. Not surprisingly, her marriage to Gordon runs its course, and soon she becomes, happily so, Mrs. Irving Green. Through the eyes of the kind, low-key Laura, who is more lucky than cutthroat, more trusting than wise, the reader is treated to a view of the Golden Age of Hollywood. VERDICT With this debut novel, following publication of her first short story collection in February (Other People We Married ), Straub offers a charming tale spanning 50 years. Her strength is an ability to foster originality by turning her back on the stereotyped assumptions of the lives of movie stars whose backstories feed the magic. [See Prepub Alert, 3/12/12.]— Beth Andersen, Ann Arbor District Lib., MI --Beth Andersen (Reviewed July 1, 2012) (Library Journal, vol 137, issue 12, p79)
  • (The following is a combined review for LAURA LAMONT&#39 and S LIFE IN PICTURES)A film star of Hollywood's golden age goes mild, in Straub's curiously bloodless debut. Elsa Emerson, whose father owns and manages a Wisconsin summer stock playhouse, wasn't always destined for stardom. Her older sister, Hildy, is the one with the glamour, presence and grace. But when Hildy hangs herself after being jilted by an actor, Elsa's discovery of her sister's body forever alters her worldview. Just how, is the novel's task to reveal, and unfortunately it fails in that purpose. Elsa seems to drift into the various phases of her life. Having escaped Wisconsin by marrying fellow Hollywood-bound thespian Gordon, she gives birth to two daughters in quick succession and is consigned to housewifery while her husband achieves a modicum of success under contract to Gardner Brothers Studio. When Elsa meets Gardner mogul Irving Green, he sees her diva potential, renames her Laura Lamont and changes her Nordic blond looks to the persona of a sultry brunette. Gordon is quickly dispensed with, and she marries Irving, who provides security and an opulent house in Beverly Hills. By the time her son, Irving Junior, is born, Laura's career again takes a back seat, this time to a more luxurious domesticity--now even her husband is touting her for matronly roles. Although Laura wins an Oscar early on, there is scant other evidence of her celebrity status since we see mostly her home life. Already a passive character, she becomes more so after Irving's death. (He had a weak heart and was never robust.) She resorts to barbiturates to get her through her not-so-busy day. The tragedy of Irving's death compounds the psychic wounds opened by Hildy's suicide and more recently, her beloved father's passing. Although Straub's languid language convincingly conveys Laura/Elsa's inability to cope, the reader at times wishes this screen star would go less gently into the good night of the aging female in Hollywood. A life in pictures, mostly out of focus.(Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2012)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10133402
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Straub, Emma
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Motion picture actors and actresses
  • Fame
Label
Laura Lamont's life in pictures, Emma Straub
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
306 p.
Isbn
9781594488450
Isbn Type
: HRD
Lccn
2012011330
Label
Laura Lamont's life in pictures, Emma Straub
Publication
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
306 p.
Isbn
9781594488450
Isbn Type
: HRD
Lccn
2012011330

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