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Taffy Brodesser-Akner Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Fleishman Is In Trouble (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Taffy Brodesser-Akner
Taffy Brodesser-Akner, born Stephanie Akner, grew up in Brooklyn, New York, in an Orthodox Jewish household. From an early age, she got the “Taffy” nickname and kept using it professionally. She went to New York University and married her husband Claude Brodesser in the year 2006. They both took hyphenated names after they got married.

She is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, and has written for GQ and ESPN the Magazine, as well as other publications.

As a teen, she watched a television, and it was her only fun. She grew up in a very religious household, and her mom kept a strict eye on everybody in the house. Shows she liked include: “Thirtysomething”, “A Different World”, and “Tribe”; one of her favorite shows was “Northern Exposure”. She wasn’t allowed to watch “Dynasty” or “Dallas”.

The first writer that influenced her was Philip Roth. She read his work at a young age since her mom wouldn’t allow her to read stuff like “Sweet Valley High” because she thought there would be a lot of sex in them. Philip Roth’s work just had words on the cover, and her mom assumed they had to be literature. It is the kind of work she was raised on and the type of stuff she still enjoys.

Taffy was a horrible student, getting kicked out of more than three schools. She wasn’t even good at English. There was a time she had a side gig writing other people’s college essays, and when her English teacher found out, Taffy was told that not only was it unethical to do, it was also that she wasn’t that good at it.

Taffy’s first major job in journalism was working at Soap Opera Weekly, which is a job she had until layoffs eliminated her role in June of 2001. Her freelance pieces often times focused on celebrity profiles, quite a few of which wound up going viral.

Taffy was able to get into film school by writing a pretend investigative piece. It was about the existence, during the nineties, of a secret 51st state which were breeding compounds for different dysfunctional families which had been going on since the fifties to feed the talk show explosion going on at the time.

She went to film school to become a screenwriter, but quickly learned she was no good at it. She was taught to write by the numbers scripts where everything followed the same pattern.

She wrote “Fleishman Is in Trouble” sometimes on the weekend, sometimes on airplanes, but mainly when she was waiting for one of her interview subjects to show up. This could take anywhere from twenty minutes to three days.

The novel was in a Word document that she left open in the background of her computer. It was never closed for six months. It would have taken ten years to write if she didn’t have kids, but it took six months to write it because she didn’t have the time to get romantic about it. If it didn’t work out, she had to know quickly, because she was stealing both money and time from her family with every sentence she spent on it.

As she wrote the novel, she had her kids in her lap. She would sit and watch terrible kid’s shows while writing the book. Taffy writes any place that she possibly can, because there is never a perfect time or moment to write something.

First, she wrote the first and last ten pages knowing that the narrator would briefly rear her head because she could not stay quiet any longer. It was such a specific third person to make you realize that a character in the book had been narrating it the entire time.

Only during the second draft that the people important to Taffy had read it and her agent and editor asked her if she wanted to examine it more. Then the final ten pages turned into the final thirty. The first version even only had the spirit of it, but not quite as explicitly.

Her debut novel, called “Fleishman Is in Trouble”, was released in the year 2019 and is from the literary fiction genre. The novel was published by Wildfire in the United Kingdom and by Random House in the United States.

“Fleishman Is in Trouble” has been named one of the most addictive books by Kirkus, and one of the funniest by Bookpage. It was also one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Fiction of the Year picks and named a New York Times Notable Book of the year 2019.

“Fleishman Is in Trouble” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2019. Toby Fleishman believed he knew what to expect when both he and his wife of close to fifteen years separated. Weekends and alternating holidays with the kids, occasional moment of tension in their co-parenting negotiations, and some residual bitterness.

He would not have predicted that one day, during the summer of his sexual emancipation, Rachel would swing by and drop their two kids at his place and not return. He was working so hard to find some balance in his single life. Winds of his optimism, which had been long dormant, had finally started picking up. Then this happened.

While Toby attempts to figure out just where Rachel went, as he juggles his patients at the hospital, his new app-aided sexual popularity, and his never ending parental duties. All he has for consolation is his tidy story about being the spurned husband with the too ambitious wife. If Toby ever really wants to really understand just what happened to Rachel and his marriage, he will need to consider that he may not have been seeing things too clearly to begin with.

Right from the start, this novel is brimming with wisdom and utterly of this this moment. And it is not until its potent closing pages is the reader totally aware of its clever ferocity. This novel is heart-breaking, funny, true and feverishly brilliant. Taffy reveals the twisted hearts of all her characters, as well as the twisted soul of modern America, with an eye that is both pitiless and full of compassion for all of our human foibles.

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