Beyond the Book: Background information when reading A Family Daughter

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A Family Daughter

by Maile Meloy

A Family Daughter by Maile Meloy
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2006, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2007, 336 pages

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About the author: Maile Meloy is the author of the story collection Half in Love and the novels Liars and Saints and A Family Daughter,. Her stories have been published in The New Yorker, and she has received The Paris Review's Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, the PEN/Malamud Award, the Rosenthal Foundation Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in California.

About Meloy's first novel, Liars and Saints: "This first novel packs quite a punch. In less than 300 pages Maile Meloy paints a picture of 50 years in the life of one Californian family from World War II to the present. It seemed to me that the less words she used to describe a scene, or the feelings of a character, the more vividly I was able to relate to that person or situation. It takes great skill to hone one's words to this degree!" - BookBrowse's 2003 review; also a 2003 BookBrowse Favorite Book.

Who are the Loud Family? The Los Angeles Times reviewer described the Santerre family as 'possibly the most engrossing American family since the Louds' - which sent me scurrying off to find out who the Louds were. No doubt, many reading this will know exactly who they are, but for those of you who, like me, don't - they were the subject of a 12-part PBS documentary broadcast in 1973 which is considered by many to be the originator of reality TV, and opened the door for future shows portraying dysfunctional families. If you're familiar with the Loud family and have missed knowing their every movement, you can catch up with their goings on at PBS's tribute site for Lance Loud, who died in 2001.

This article was originally published in February 2006, and has been updated for the February 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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