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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.

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Books by this Author

Books by E Lockhart at BookBrowse
Family of Liars jacket Genuine Fraud jacket We Were Liars jacket The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for E Lockhart but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Megan Abbott

    Megan Abbott

    Megan Abbott is the Edgar-winning author of the novels Beware the Woman, The Turnout, Give Me Your Hand, You Will Know Me, The Fever, Dare Me, The End of Everything, Bury Me Deep, Queenpin, The Song Is You and Die a Little. ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Genuine Fraud

    Try:
    The Turnout
    by Megan Abbott

  • Peter Blauner

    Peter Blauner

    Peter Blauner is an Edgar-winning, New York Times bestselling author whose novels include Slow Motion Riot and The Intruder. He spent the 1980s covering crime, politics and other forms of socially-abhorrent behavior for New ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Genuine Fraud

    Try:
    Proving Ground
    by Peter Blauner

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