Laurie Colwin Remembered

By Roger Friedman Today would have been author/writer/novelist/essayist/short story writer Laurie Colwin’s 66th birthday. She died on October 24, 1992 of a sudden heart attack at age 48.

Every year I tell my readers about Laurie, so we never forget her. All of her terrific, insightful, funny, trenchant books are in print, which is a rarity. All the novels like “Happy All the Time,” “Family Happiness,” and “A Big Storm Knocked it Over” to short story collections–”Another Marvelous Thing,” “The Lone Pilgrim”– and her essays “Home Cooking” and “More Home Cooking.”

I always like to remind everyone that it was Laurie, working in the editorial department of EP Dutton under the late great Henry Robbins, who discovered and published Fran Lebowitz’s seminal collection, “Metropolitan Life.” Laurie read Lebowitz’s “I Cover the Waterfront” column in Interview magazine, and told Robbins they had to publish her. Laurie also worked for Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts.

But it’s her own writing that we continue to revel in 18 years after her death. Why none of these stories haven’t been turned translated into film is a mystery. All the characters are so perfect–for actresses especially. All the women who complain there are no parts should read these books and option them. Lucy Liu, for example, would be just right as Holly in “Happy All the Time.” Parker Posey could be Misty Berkowitz. And so on. Oprah’s new network should option the whole collection!

Image by Crampton

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