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Lucy Ellmann Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Sweet Desserts (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Varying Degrees of Hopelessness (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Man or Mango? (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dot in the Universe (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Doctors & Nurses (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mimi (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ducks, Newburyport (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Picture Books

Tom the Obscure (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Things Are Against Us (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Lucy Ellmann
Lucy Ellman was born in Evanston, Illinois on October 18, 1956. She is the daughter of Mary Ellman (feminist literary critic) and Richard Ellman (literary critic and biographer). Lucy is married to Todd McEwen, an American writer.

Lucy is a regular contributor of articles on fiction and art to the Times Literary Supplement, Artforum, the Listener, Modern Painters, and the New Statesman. She is also a screenwriter.

She got her Foundation degree from Falmouth School of Art in 1975, her BA from University of Essex in 1980, and her MA from Courtauld Institute of Art in 1981.

“Sweet Desserts” won the Guardian Fiction Prize. “Dot in the Universe” was nominated for a Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Writing Best Novel. “Ducks, Newburyport” won the Goldsmiths Prize in 2019 and the 2020 James Tait Black Prize for Fiction and was longlisted for the 2020 Prix Medicis etranger, and shortlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize.

Lucy’s been recognized with fellowships and honors, including the Queen Margaret University 2017/18, the Royal Literary Fund, University of Dundee 2011/12, Queen Margaret University 2005-07, and has been a Hawthornden Fellow and was a Hawthornden fellowship residence at Hawthornden Castle.

She has lectured and led seminars in Creative Writing at the University of Kent between September of 2009 and July of 2010.

“Sweet Desserts” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 1988. Suzy Schwarz has learnt a thing or two about life: other people know how you should live better than you do, lust calls for careful timing since it rarely coincides with that of your partner. Sisters, particularly Fran, can ruin your self esteem and sanity. But most heartbreaking of all: parents will die on you, and leave you grieving.

The only thing that will provide constant solace once things are bad, and they typically are, is food.

“Varying Degrees of Hopelessness” is the second stand alone novel and was released in 1991. In the Catafalque, an eminent London art institute, Our Heroine Isabel (she of peculiar belly button, the obsessional habits, and perpetual virginity) sit in wistful contemplation of Chardin’s brushstrokes and the virile red socks of passing lecturers.

Isabel’s fully imaginary love life, which is based on the romantic notions of author Babs Cartwheel, bears very little resemblance to that of Pol (her flatmate) her prefers gripping reality by the balls.

Enter Robert, a victim of an American childhood, academic rivalry, kitsch memorabilia, Pol’s belly dancing, and Isabel’s mute adoration. Can he be just perverse enough not to despair?

“Man or Mango?” is the third stand alone novel and was released in 1998. Eloise is on this fervent retreat from mankind: cruel, worthless, and greedy species that it is. She would very much like a man, however. The author asserts that her celibacy wasn’t of much account. However in an ideal world it’d be recognized as the tragedy it truly was. This about a woman that suspected when she was just five that she wanted a lot more sex than she’d ever get. Alas, her temporary crushes on her mover, this gardener (who’s not even her own), and the neighbor’s architect have just resulted in disappointment and a criminal waste of lipstick.

Her true obsession is still George, this American that she had an affair with on a holiday in New England six years ago. However after she made it back in England, the relationship fizzled over time, and she’s now condemned to living a life of felines and misanthropy. She’s also on a furious list making and letter writing streak. In a lengthy roster she assesses social (i.e. damaging) encounters according to the recovery time that they require. In this other one, she explains exactly how everything that’s wrong with the world is men’s fault, including whistling and male nipples.

What she doesn’t know is that her long lost lover is really in England, on this creative writing sinecure which is just making his writing, an ice hockey fixated epic and an ill-fated script, worse, not to mention it’s turning him Anglophobic. As far as he’s concerned the British are sex avoiding, video crazed, and deeply narcissistic.

These star-crossed lovers meet at last in Connemara again, along with one giant vegetable growing burglar and letter bomber, a man whose wife drowned as she was rescuing their pet, and various other misfits, which includes these three old ladies on a shoplifting spree, the results are fantastic.

While Lucy’s novel careens from the deadly serious (the Holocaust) to the deeply absurd (mangoes are better than men because they just don’t “lord it over everyone at committee meetings), it might well exasperate some readers. Others are going to be charmed by this fruitful and extreme concoction.

“Dot in the Universe” is the fourth stand alone novel and was released in 2002. It is your worst nightmare: instead of being dead, you are alive.

Dot believes she is perfect, with her pointy nose, blond hair, and pink skin. She lives on the east coast of England with her fantastic husband, cooking him gourmet meals, and crash her car. So one day she decides to End it All. However she blows it!

After a short sojourn through the underworld (which is populated by “underaged and underdeveloped underlings all, understated in their undershirts and understanding very little”), Dot gets reincarnated. First, she comes back as a possum, then later she is reborn as a girl in Ohio. It’s a poignant and hilarious journey through our puny universe, in a masterpiece of disquiet.

“Doctors and Nurses” is the fifth stand alone novel and was released in 2006. The ancient arts of medicine are exposed! The tranquility of a rural backwater is shattered! Her darling cleft-chinned doctor is forced to fight for his own life!

In a world where nurses never wash their hands and doctors are the lowest of the low, an enormous nurse stands up for love, a nurse that’ll make everybody fart with fear.

This is the medical romance to end them all. With her characteristic wit and vitriol, Lucy cleverly anatomizes our devotion to Hippocratic oafs.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Lucy Ellmann

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