E Lockhart Interview, plus links to author biography, book summaries, excerpts and reviews

E Lockhart

E Lockhart

How to pronounce E Lockhart: lockart (Lockhart is Emily Jenkins' middle name - and she likes it so much she uses it on her books)

An interview with E Lockhart

E Lockhart, author of Dramarama, The Boyfriend List, Fly on the Wall and The Boy Book discusses her new novel, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.

Are you a prankster? Could you have pulled off Frankie's pranks?

I am not and have never been much of a prankster, though in college I was a big sneaker-arounder. (That is not a word, I know, but The Disreputable History is partly a book about making up words, so I'm using it anyway. It's my prerogative as an author.)

Okay, back to college. My friends and I snuck into the chapel late at night, got on the roof of the film center (for romance) and the dance studio (for tanning)—and yes, we had parties on the golf course. There was a fair amount of streaking as well! But we weren't engaging in social or institutional critique in any systematic way, the way Frankie is. To write Frankie's pranks I had to do some significant research and really push my imagination.


Did you, like Frankie, struggle with other people's assumptions about your skills or abilities?

I certainly did as a teenager and young adult. I think a big part of why I got a doctorate in English literature was that I wanted concrete evidence of my intellectual worth. I often felt that neither my boyfriends nor my professors really saw me as serious, and that my boyfriends didn't see me as equal.

That's not to say I had a whole slew of sexist boyfriends who wanted me to stay home and cook (which I quite enjoy doing, actually) rather than work or study. Not at all: they were nice guys and all for equal opportunity and equal pay. It's to say that they did not really rate me as a contender for the kinds of aspirations they themselves had. They did not seek to learn anything from me, but rather to have me learn from them—to share in their interests.


And the professors?

One of my professors in grad school used to pat me on the head. That university English department was definitely an Old Boys Club, and it was hard for the women there to break through and succeed.  This feeling of being underestimated was really the start of The Disreputable History. I try to begin a book by considering what I am angry about. And I am still angry about that—and angry when it happens to me today. Although it happens much less often. Now I am comfortable enough with my place in the world and my relationships to write comedies instead of dissertations.


What's the best part of writing for young adults?  What's the most difficult?

The best part of writing for young adults, in terms of my daily life, is the community of fellow writers. When I have written for adults or very young children, I haven't had a supportive community, but the YA writers in New York convene together for writing days, talk shop, share advice (and horror stories) and generally support one another. Sometimes, we even make dance videos. Much of The Disreputable History was written in a coffee shop alongside the three authors who have been my most regular writing companions—Scott Westerfeld, John Green, and Maureen Johnson—and I've learned so much from just seeing their discipline, listening to their jokes, and watching them procrastinate.

Unless otherwise stated, this interview was conducted at the time the book was first published, and is reproduced with permission of the publisher. This interview may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the copyright holder.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The World Doesn't Require You
    The World Doesn't Require You
    by Rion Amilcar Scott
    You can't move for young authors being marketed as "unique," "bold" and "visionary" these days. So ...
  • Book Jacket: The Long Call
    The Long Call
    by Ann Cleeves
    Penning a great murder mystery seems like it would be particularly challenging. The story often fits...
  • Book Jacket: The Liar
    The Liar
    by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
    The Liar is a book that will make its readers uncomfortable by design; set in modern-day Israel, it ...
  • Book Jacket: The Dutch House
    The Dutch House
    by Ann Patchett

    There are a few times in life when you leap up and the past that you'd been standing on falls away ...


Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Motherhood So White
    by Nefertiti Austin

    A heartwarming memoir of motherhood and adoption told through an African American lens.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Shadow King
    by Maaza Mengiste

    "A brilliant novel, lyrically lifting history towards myth. It's also compulsively readable."
    —Salman Rushdie
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Girl Who Reads on the Métro

The Girl Who Reads on the Métro

An enchanting story for fans of The Little Paris Bookshop and The Elegance of the Hedgehog.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

L, Damn L, A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.