Meghan Daum is the author of Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House, a personal chronicle of real estate addiction and obsessive fascination with houses, as well as the novel The Quality of Life Report and the essay collections My Misspent Youth and The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion.
Since 2005 she has written a weekly column for The Los Angeles Times. She has contributed to public radio's Morning Edition, Marketplace and This American Life and has written for numerous publications, including The New Yorker, Harper's, GQ, Vogue, Self, New York, Travel & Leisure, BlackBook, Harper's Bazaar, The Village Voice, and The New York Times Book Review.
Equal parts reporter, storyteller, and satirist, Daum has inspired controversy over a range of topics, including social politics, class warfare and the semiotics of shag carpet. Meghan's work is included in dozens of college textbooks and anthologies.
Born in California in 1970, Daum was raised primarily on the east coast and is a graduate of Vassar College and the MFA writing program at Columbia University's School of the Arts as well as at the California Institute for the Arts and the Nebraska Summer Writers' Conference.
She spent several years in New York City and later Nebraska. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alan Zarembo, and their sheepdog, Rex.
Meghan was a 2013 mentor for PEN USA's Emerging Voices Program. She also volunteers as a foster child advocate for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Los Angeles County.
Meghan Daum's website
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An Interview With Meghan Daum
The parallel between your life and Lucinda's is unmistakable.
You once worked for a fashion magazine and then moved to Nebraska. At what stage
in your own move did the novel idea come into play? How much of your real-life
experience influenced the book?
I'd been in Nebraska for well over a year before I started the novel. I remember the day I actually began writing. There were several inches of snow on the ground and it was the coldest winter anyone had seen in years. I'd been thinking a lot about a phenomenon called prairie madness, which was a kind of mental illness that afflicted many of the early settlers to the region, particularly those who came from the east during the Homestead Act of 1863. It was believed that the combination of isolation on the plains and, moreover, the incessant shrieking wind literally drove people insane. It seemed to affect women in particular, many of whom had come from the east, usually at the behest of their husbands, and were used to more refined conditions and larger communities. The deal with the Homestead Act was that families were given 160-acre plots of land, which they could own outright if they managed to farm it and live on it ...
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