A few updates –
The galleys have some errors in them and people have written to me with concerns. Fret not! My process is to noodle with every line and sentence until the book is taken away from me. It makes for a messier process and a messier galley, but we’ve had lots of readers through all stages and the finished book will be error-free.
At the end of this email are some blurbs the book has received so far.
In other news, I’m working on a story for THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT: TALES OF STEPHEN KING’S THE STAND, edited by Chris Golden and Brian Keene. The family and I visited Death Valley over the summer for research. Weirdly, Death Valley now has a natural lake in it.
I’m also taking a quick break from THE PARENT TRAP to work on a novella about a journalist writing a hit piece on her old high school enemy, who’s now a famous psychic medium. It’s called “Madam Pamela is a Monster.”
My daughter Frances and I saw “Inherit the Wind” at the Pasadena Playhouse. It’s a great play. Highly recommend. I was my husband JT’s plus-one for a screening of “The Holdovers” at the DGA. We attended an after party with Alexander Payne, who bumped elbows with me twice and seemed both cheerful and approachable. The movie is great and seemed to me about loss — the loss of loved ones, the surrendering of the expectations we had for our own lives. Finally, I saw “Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” the Hunger Games’ prequel. It’s not for everyone– there’s a clunkiness in the novel it’s adapted from that makes the movie challenging. But it seems fitting to me. Collins wrote a call to revolution years ago. The update is the story of corruption within.
I read THE FRAUD, Zadie Smith’s most recent book. I found it sluggish, but am told it’s the kind of book that needs to be read twice. Also of note, THE FUTURE FROM ANOTHER TIMELINE, by Analee Newitz, about punk-rock feminist time travelers. Super fun. Stephen Graham Jones’ MONGRELS is beautifully written. Alma Katsu’s got a story up on Amazon called BLACK VAULT and it’s a real treat.
Finally, I nagged Paul Tremblay into sending his latest manuscript, HORROR MOVIE, due out in the summer. What I love about Paul’s work is that it doesn’t wince. It goes for the scare/dread/think in a way that’s both brave and respectful of its audience. HORROR MOVIE is special.
Finally, we got a new rabbit. We are slowly introducing her to Holly, the existing rabbit. She’s adorable!
Henrietta, six months old.
Holly, 5 years old.
The blurbs –
“Sarah Langan never ceases to amaze: A Better World is terrifying, shocking, sinister…and yet heartfelt and often hilarious. Langan has created a United States of the future that feels darkly reconizable—a depository of our current fears about environment, government, health. Her bright, shiny, twisted little town of tomorrow, Plymouth Valley, is a dark, thrilling indictment on the choices we make today.” – Gillian Flynn
“It’s like Shirley Jackson on mushrooms,” – Hilarie Burton
“A Better World is truly fantastic. A marriage story, an apocalyptic story, a moving portrait of a woman trying to save her family in a poisoned world. Imagine if H.G. Wells and Lorrie Moore collaborated on a novel. Then add in some weird-ass birds. Mordant wit, insightful social commentary, and so much heart, Sarah Langan has written a gloriously humane novel.” – Victor LaValle, author of THE CHANGELING
“Perfectly constructed social horror with emotional heft. A Rorschach test of all our modern fears anchored by the honest, human, heroic characters at the heart of it. A brilliant piece of writing.” – Alma Katsu, author of The Fervor
“A chilling, heartbreaking exploration of our modern psyche, full of fear, desperation, and terrifying truth. Sarah Langan has never been better or more insightful. There’s more than one way to sell your soul, and Langan knows them all.”
—Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of ROAD OF BONES and THE HOUSE OF LAST RESORT