Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Subverting the Suburbs: My Interview with Claire Lombardo

Please note: What follows is the first two paragraph of the introduction to an interview I did with Claire Lombardo for the Chicago Review of Books. Because again, I want CHIRB to get all the clicks they deserve for being nice enough to let me interview famous and incredibly cool writers like Claire, please click on this link to read the full interview (don't worry, it's free, there's no paywall or anything).

Claire Lombardo hit the rare debut novel trifecta with 2019’s The Most Fun We Ever Had: Readers loved it, critics praised it, and it sold hand over fist. That’s quite an accomplishment for a previously unknown novelist debuting with a 500-page book. The novel’s staying power and appeal were still evident: this past month Reese Witherspoon chose The Most Fun We Ever Had as her book club pick for April.

Now Lombardo is back with her second book, Same As It Ever Was, another long novel about a somewhat-functional family set in the Chicago suburbs. But Same As It Ever Was is certainly not, well, the same as it ever was. Whereas her debut had a polyphonic point of view, alternating between the voices and characters of four sisters, Same As It Ever Was is the third-person-limited story of Julia Ames, a middle-aged librarian and mother, navigating the slings and arrows of upper-class suburbia. It’s a more contemplative novel, and also a terrific study in tension-building.

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