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Elinor Lipman Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Then She Found Me (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Way Men Act (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Isabel's Bed (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Inn at Lake Devine (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ladies' Man (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dearly Departed (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Pursuit of Alice Thrift (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
My Latest Grievance (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Family Man (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The View from Penthouse B (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
On Turpentine Lane (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Good Riddance (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rachel to the Rescue (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ms. Demeanor (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Tweet Land of Liberty (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
I Can't Complain (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Into Love and Out Again (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

What My Mother Gave Me(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Elinor Lipman is a native of Lowell, Massachusetts and was born to a very religious Jewish family. She attended public school for majority of her early education and was also exceedingly active in girls’ basketball during her high school years. Once she entered college, her future career as a writer was seemingly cemented when she chose to major in Publications. She became an intern in the Lowell Sun where she wrote for the school newspaper, being known for her snappy headlines and essays that satirize society as a whole.

After college, she started working for a television station in Boston and served as editor of newsletters for different organizations as well. She married Robert Austin, a college acquaintance, in 1975. Once she chose to enroll in a creative writing course in Brandeis University, her fiction writing career became sealed. In the beginning, she wrote fiction sparsely, writing them only in between work deadlines. This did bear fruit, though, as it didn’t take long for her stories to be published in magazines, particularly the Yankee Magazine. Her first book was a collection of short stories title Into Love and Out Again, which was composed of stories that are primarily linked theme-wise.

The publication of her first book gave her the courage to try out writing a novel. This effort would fortuitously result in the publication of her first novel, Then She Found Me, which is pretty much the book that put her in the limelight after its publication in 1990. It also became the first of her work to be adapted on film, bearing the same name, which starred Helen Hunt. Fueled by her initial success, Lipman wasted no time in writing more novels through the years. Then She Found Me was followed by five more novels that were published in the 90’s. 1998, in particular, was a very prolific year for her, as she was able to release 3 novels in that year alone, namely The Inn at Lake Devine, Inn at the Lake Devine, and The Ladies’ Man.

The 2000’s was the year when her style and work as a fiction writer became honed as it saw a rise in accolades for the body of work that she published during the said decade. 2007, in particular, was the year when she received two significant awards, namely a lifetime achievement award from the New England Library and Information Network as well as the Paterson Fiction Prize for her novel My Latest Grievance. It should be noted that most of her work are set in her native Massachusetts, and her Jewsih background has also served as a consistent presence in her novels as well. She has taught in various creative workshops in multiple colleges in Massachusetts as well, besides serving as a judge for various literary contests.

Modern Love, an essay she wrote in 2010 on the New York Times dealt with the subject of her husband’s death in 2009. She has lived in Manhattan for majority of her adult years, and she has one son named Benjamin Lipman Austin.

Then She Found Me

Without a doubt, this novel is what Elinor Lipman is widely known for, not only because of the critical recognition it got, but also because of the apparent success of its movie version. Its protagonist is April Epner, born to a mother who was only 17 years old at the time of her conception. Without the means to raise her up properly, her mother allowed her to be adopted by German immigrants. For majority of her life, she has never found the need to know who her biological parents are. After the death of her adoptive parents, though, her estranged mother suddenly enters her life, ready to make up for the time she wasn’t able to spend with her daughter.

At this time, April is already working as a teacher, while her mother, Bernice Graverman, is a talk show host. Bernice is slightly bewildered by the fact that she isn’t readily being accepted by her biological daughter. April, on the other hand, is equally perplexed by her rather eccentric mother, who has a knack for lying and constantly tries to intrude into her everyday affairs. The apparently seamless way in which Bernice reenters her daughter’s life is part of what pulls readers into the story. As it progresses, April begins to compare the relationship she had with her adoptive parents with that of her real mother’s, which only ever begins to become more profound as you turn the pages.

The Way Men Act

Elinor Lipman’s second novel, The Way Men Act, is about Melinda LeBland, a woman in her late twenties who returns to her hometown of Harrow. She joins the ranks of many young men and women who weren’t able to achieve the success they yearn for in their twenties. It has to be noted, though, that she never chose to enter college, and she is still caught up in the glorious popularity she enjoyed during her high school days. She has resolved to move in with her mother and start a career as a florist, particularly for her cousin. She doesn’t specifically like this scenario, but the job allows her to bring out her creativity as a designer. The weddings she manages provide equal consolation. Her attention is then captured by a local musician, but while their relationship deepens, she doesn’t consider spending the rest of her life with him.

Everything becomes complicated when she inadvertently has a one-night-stand with Dennis Vaughan, a businessman whom she knows as an athlete in the high school they both attended. Her work life also becomes threatened by Libby Getchel, an old friend in high school who owns a dress design shop next to the one she is working for. Ms. Getchel is pretty much Melinda’s contemporary, and their story during their twenties actually mirror each other as the former was also not able to make it big and has opted to return home. With that said, the majority of the events of the novel circulate on Melinda trying to address the issues of her career and love life. The novel has been praised by critics for its drama, unexpected twists, and subtle humor.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Elinor Lipman

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