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Emily Layden Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

All Girls (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Once More from the Top (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Emily Layden is a former high school English teacher and author of general fiction from upstate New York.

She came from a family of educators. Both her maternal grandparents were public administrators and school teachers while her mother is a dean at a college.

As such, both writing and teaching are in her blood, which is enhanced by the fact that her father is a successful author with more than forty titles to his name.
In her mind writing and teaching are symbiotic pursuits given that they both need a unique ability to pay attention, observe, and listen besides requiring a lot of empathy.
As such, it was not surprising that Emily Layden would end up an author and teacher of renown.

She went to Stanford University to study creative writing and her writing has been featured in the likes of “Runner’s World,” “The New York Times,” “The Billfold,” and “Marie Claire.”

When she was in her twenties, Emily Layden went to Stanford. It was this that she believes provided the biggest push toward her becoming a successful novelist.

When she first got into Stanford, she was afflicted with the Stanford duck syndrome. As a freshman, she always felt like a very small fish in a very massive pond and that she was not good enough or smart enough.
But the Creative Writing Program welcomed her and for the first time, she had people take her writing seriously. She had always made sense of the world through storytelling.

Still, it was not until she had the gift of the American Studies and Creative Writing departments that she felt that her writing could amount to something.
As a young writer, she needed someone that would legitimize her work. This she got right from the time she attended her first workshop as a sophomore.

She still remembers her favorite class at Stanford taught by Tom Kealey and Adam Johnson. The class of about 10 people used to meet once a week for about three hours. They would invite writers of books and order takeout resulting in a very cozy feeling.
According to Layden, it was one of those classes that gave you a sense of belonging and made you feel that you had arrived.

Emily Layden would then spend most of her twenties working at various independent day and boarding schools most of which were all-girls schools.

She found it very fulfilling to talk about books the whole day but the best thing was the daily lessons in the optimism, empathy, and wisdom of teenage girls.

After years in the trenches with the girls, she was given to the fact that teenagers shape culture and drive discourse as they tell most of us what music to listen to, what to wear, and what is cool.

However, girls usually do not get the credit they deserve for being well-functioning and profitable members of society. After years in the trenches with teenagers, she felt that their experiences were valid and needed to be taken seriously.
She would then decide to start writing and began waking up very early in the morning and writing for an hour before heading to school.

Layden has always loved teaching but now found a new drive to interact with teenage girls so that she can get insights into how they perceive the world as complex and well-adjusted people.

“All Girls” by Emily Layden is a moving, poignant, and sincere story of a group of teenagers coming to terms with the world they live in.

The work is set in Atwater Connecticut at an all-girls boarding school, which is a haven for feminist and progressive-thinking intellectuals. The students are worldly, driven, and smart but they are still teenagers trying to find their identity.
Upon arriving on campus to begin the fall session they receive some startling news. An alumnus of the school has made a serious allegation against an unidentified teacher alleging sexual misconduct.

Over the weeks, the efforts of the administration to manage the aftermath failed and the students realized that the adults they believed were there to protect them may not have their best interests at heart.

The work unfolds over the course of an entire year and is told from the perspective of a small cast of interconnected and diverse characters. These navigate the social mores of prep school and the more universal and broader challenges of growing up.
The author pitches the trials of teenage girls against the backdrop of anxiety, consent, sexual assault, and the ways that our culture sees them as trendsetters, even though it often discounts their opinions and voices.
It is overall an emotionally nuanced, impeccably layered, and richly detailed depiction of what it is to grow up in a female body.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Emily Layden

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