Lauren Grodstein is the author of the bestselling A Friend of the Family, which was a Washington Post Best Book of the Year, a New York Times Editor's Pick, and an Indie Next selection; the collection The Best of Animals; and the novel Reproduction Is the Flaw of Love. She teaches creative writing at Rutgers University.
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Tom Perrotta and Laura Grodstein discuss her novel, The Explanation for Everything
Lauren Grodstein, the author of A Friend of the Family, has always been an enormous fan of Tom Perrotta's. "Election, Little Childrenthose books aren't just amazing reads, they're great lessons in how to wring the most drama possible from what seem like everyday moments." But when she read The LeftoversPerrotta's 2011 novel about the apocalypse and the suburbsshe decided Perrotta might be more than a favorite author; he might be a kindred spirit.
Fortunately, Perrotta turned out to be a fan of hers, too. He calls Grodstein's new novel, The Explanation for Everything, "terrificvery smart and touching and unexpected." Here, they discuss faith, writing, and New Jersey.
Tom Perrotta: "The Explanation for Everything" is a novel about evolution and creationism, but it doesn't take sides. Why not?
Lauren Grodstein: I think it's easy to take sides on all sorts of things (I root for the Mets, for instance, and prefer my coffee black). But in this novel I wanted to do something more complicated, and maybe more interestingI wanted to try to figure out why people believe what they ...
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