The Summer of Fall

Gravity is a bitch, but I’m still standing

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Pub Date May 10 2023 | Archive Date Aug 17 2023
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Lady in the Lake, Dream Girl, and many other noir favorites, a raw-funny personal tale of heartbreak and misfortune, and the surprisingly wonderful things they can lead to.

“Lucky! I’M LUCKY, GODDAMMIT!” So Laura Lippman keeps telling herself throughout the course of a year when she seems everything but. Her marriage crumbles; a beloved friend dies suddenly; her sister’s health fails. Everything and everyone is falling apart. The calamities reach a symbolic climax in the summer of 2022, when she and her mother both suffer bad falls. (Her mom is ninety-one; Lippman herself is merely “exceptionally clumsy.”) Still, she insists, she is lucky.

And in many ways, she is. She has a great kid and a career she loves, and she’s healthy and more or less happy. Yet even a resilient optimist like her can’t deny that life’s catastrophes are indiscriminate and seem always to hit at once.

In this wry and honest memoir of a truly lousy time, she gives an intimate look at her private life — perhaps less hair-raising than her award-winning crime thrillers, but no less engaging. And it’s relatable. Even the most fortunate experience heartache, loss, and physical breakdown of some kind. Lippman’s account of her own hard knocks reminds us that, eventually, adversity comes for everyone.

But she has a more important message: While misfortune might not be a choice, how we respond to it is. Lippman chooses to be a happy warrior. When her friend Terry Teachout, the renowned theater critic for The Wall Street Journal, dies without warning in January 2022, she finds solace in the fact that he’d recently found joy in a new romance. When two friends make the spontaneous decision to marry during a writer’s workshop in Italy, she throws herself into the role of officiant, despite the flatlining of her own marriage. When she ruins her shoulder in a fall, she refuses to swap her fun shoes for something more sensible. She won’t let sorrow and pain get the best of her. Blessings abound, godammit, and there’s still so much to celebrate.

In The Summer of Fall, one of America’s best-loved storytellers tells her own memorable story. Lippman fans will enjoy this rare sneak peek into her life, and new fans are sure to appreciate her humorous, authentic take on the universal themes of marriage, parenting, friendship, and work. As she shows us, hard times are a given, but it’s never too late for a next act.

Laura Lippman is a New York Times bestselling writer who has won or been shortlisted for every major award for crime novelists working in English. She also has written essays, short stories, and a children’s book. She lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her about-to-be teenager.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Lady in the Lake, Dream Girl, and many other noir favorites, a raw-funny personal tale of heartbreak and misfortune, and the surprisingly wonderful...

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ISBN 9781094455402

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