Living Out A Chapter From Modern Lovers
“I was having morning coffee at a cute little place in Boerum Hills, Brooklyn, owned by a couple who don’t speak to each other. As I chatted away with an old friend who once played drums in a band in the late 80’s, who had a one-off hit, we petted his always slobbering dog Rugby. Suddenly, in strode my friend’s neighbor and one-time bandmate. Now in real estate, she’d dumped her quasi-goth look years ago, now opting for the Brooklyn version of business-casual. Slouching to halt, she arranged herself onto a bar stool and began grumbling about the collapse of her marriage and the awkwardness of her son…I had to shake myself…was I actually living out a chapter from Modern Lovers, the book I had been engrossed in the evening before?” This is from Norman B’s introduction to his interview with New York Times bestselling author of The Vacationers, Emma Straub. Writing with a smart economy of words, Straub manages to make her characters and locations so believable, that Norman B imagined he actually knew them after reading her latest book, Modern Lovers. It’s the story friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe. They have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. Their own offspring are a blunt reminder that they are no longer vanguards of cool. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed. Hear the full interview with Emma Straub on the next edition of Life Elsewhere.