Author Emma Straub opens up about ‘All the Adults Here’ book release – WWD

For many young and hip Brooklyn residents eager to ditch the city for greener grass, the Hudson Valley is often their calling card. But Cobble Hill resident, author and bookstore owner Emma Straub has stepped out of town the way she knows best – through history.

The author’s latest novel, “All Adults Here”, is set outside Rhinebeck, in the idyllic northern state town of Clapham. She was inspired by the family dynamics and small town charm of Stars Hollow, the setting of “Gilmore Girls”. Clapham comes with a central gazebo and active sidewalk cultivation.

“I needed it to feel beautiful,” says Straub. “I wanted green grass and hilly roads, all of that.”

Straub started writing about cheese – one of the characters in the book runs a goat cheese farm – and the story morphed into a multigenerational exploration of what it means to be an adult and be part of a family. . “Families expose your best and your worst selves, and we all do our best, but everyone makes mistakes,” says Straub. “The point I’ve come to is that being an adult doesn’t mean understanding everything. The story follows Strick family matriarch Astrid, her three middle-aged children and their respective families, and the consequences of their different life choices.

“I am at the center of the family sandwich: I have young children whom I worry about for care, and I have aging parents whose care I worry about. I’m right in the middle, ”adds Straub, who turned 40 at the end of last month. “I used to think that when I was 40 I would have figured it out – I have a spouse and kids, a home and a career, but I still tell myself everyday, what -what I do ? How can I solve this problem? “

Straub remains based in Brooklyn. While her book tour looks drastically different due to COVID-19, she is planning digital events with the bookstores she was originally scheduled to visit in person. She kicked things off with a Zoom reunion launch event, via the bookstore she owns with her husband, Books Are Magic, with a full roster of special guests.

“Direct reading is never the funniest thing, unless you’re one of the few people and probably a poet,” she says. “I like my events to go wrong on the awkward side, and now I think we could all use a little awkwardness.” Sharon Van Etten and Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields both performed live – their song lyrics are featured as epigraphs at the start of the book, and Straub also invited “Gilmore Girls” star Lauren Graham to join her. , as well as three first authored books.

And while Straub’s Brooklyn bookstore remains closed to the public, it continues to ship books to customers and host other digital readings.

“Unlike a restaurant, the books don’t spoil, so our inventory won’t spoil,” says Straub, who runs the store with her husband. While they appreciate being always busy, running an online bookstore is just not the same as having the in-person community of a neighborhood place.

With her two young children now at home during the day and with evenings dedicated to promoting the book, Straub has put work on his next book on hold for now; it had 40 pages before New York City closed.

“I think we all have to sit down on our life choices right now, whatever they are – whether it’s having kids or not having kids, being single. or living with a roommate you don’t really like, ”she said. said.

Like many, she is prone to nostalgia. The flip side of nostalgia, however, is the opportunity for change. It is an idea at the heart of “All adults here”, that no matter what their life choices, people’s paths always offer new opportunities.

“I see it with myself and with my parents – we’re all still evolving,” she adds. As a self-proclaimed Taurus, Straub finds solace in stability and routine. “But that’s not how life is,” she adds.

Grass isn’t always greener, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay on your own land.

Recent reading recommendations from Straub:

Lily King’s “Writers and Lovers”

“The Herd” by Andrea Bartz (“In my normal life, I work at The Wing, and” The Herd “talks a lot about a place like The Wing… where there’s a murder.”)

Janelle Brown’s “Pretty Things”

To learn more about the eye:

“Wine Girl” memoir traces Victoria James’ path to becoming America’s youngest sommelier

Fanny Singer pays tribute to Mother Alice Waters with her memoir “Always Home”


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