Author Spotlight: Karen Brown

Karen Brown, author of The Longings of Wayward Girls, found some time in her schedule to stop by to talk about her #literarycrush, #literaryconfessions and more!

Look for The Longings of Wayward Girls to be in stores July 2nd. It’s a psychological thriller that might give a person second thoughts about children playing in the woods.


the longings of wayward girls
Author Spotlight with Karen Brown

1. Karen, when you are not writing- what are some of your favorite things to do?

Reading comprises much of my free time. Even though it is intricately part of the life of a writer and in that sense might be considered “work,” I’ve always been an avid reader. I also find time to fit in running, which I enjoy, and hosting family gatherings.

2. Could you tell us some of your favorite authors?

This is such a hard question for a writer—I read for different reasons—but ultimately my favorites are those that somehow inform my own work, so on that note, some classic and current favorites: Emily Bronte, Shirley Jackson, John Cheever, William Trevor, and John Updike (my male triumvirate). Other writers who interest me: Claire Messud, Steven Millhauser, Jeffrey Eugenides, Don Delillo, Josh Weil, Lauren Groff, and Elizabeth Strout. (I’ve revised this response five or six times—clearly my favorites change from day to day.)

3. What book (or books!) will you always make room for on your shelf?

The Stories of John Cheever, first edition, with the inscription: To Mary Lee in honor of our sojourn in Naples, and other things, March 1979, Mary L. Ward.  (My grandmother’s book)

4. Do you have any #literaryconfessions?

As an academic who sometimes teaches American literature I’m ashamed to confess I’ve never read a word of Moby Dick. (But I have read Sena Jeter Naslund’s wonderful Ahab’s Wife!)

5. Do you have a #literarycrush?

I love the “Mad Men” era, and John Updike’s male characters are awfully bad in a good way, so I’d say Richard Maple from Too Far to Go: The Maples Stories.

6. What are some of the books that you want to read for 2013?

So very many on my list, but here are a handful: The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra, You Are One of Them by Elliot Holt, The Son by Philipp Meyer.


*Thank you, Karen Brown, for answering these questions.


Look for my review of The Longings of Wayward Girls and my interview with Karen Brown. Once you read, The Longings of Wayward Girls, come back and let me know how it was!