Meet Emily Ross, thirty years old, a freelance writer, and personal advocate for cake at breakfast time. With ringlets of shoulder-length hair prone to frizz and pretty brown eyes, Emily has been described in the following ways: “dramatic-looking,” “striking,” “interesting,” and once, “Venezuelan.” (She is not.)
Meet Emily’s husband, Kevin, a sweet technical writer with a passion for small appliances. Kevin once cried during Little Women, is secretly afraid of raisins because they look like mouse droppings, and is slowly driving Emily completely insane with his daily pleas for procreation.
Enter David, a sexy young reporter for the local alternative newspaper. With his longish floppy hair and rough unshaven cheeks, David smells like air and wind, and Emily kind of wants to lick him.
In this generous, heartfelt, and often hilarious novel of marriage and friendship, Lauren Fox explores the baffling human heart and the dangers of getting what you wish for.
About the Author
Lauren Fox earned her MFA from the University of Minnesota in 1998. Her work has appeared in Utne, Seventeen, Glamour, and Salon. She lives in Milwaukee with her husband and daughter. Still Life with Husband is her first novel.
Praise for Still Life with Husband…
“A delightful new voice in American fiction, a voice that instantly recalls the wry, knowing prose of Lorrie Moore crossed with the screwball talents of the cartoonist Roz Chast. . . . [Fox] has an uncanny ability to capture the absurdities of her heroine’s pastel-colored life in Milwaukee, and to map the darker emotional landscapes she inhabits. . . . Fox’s wonderfully quirky voice . . . evoke[s] Emily’s state of mind with a bracing mixture of clarity and compassion . . . uncommon tenderness and wit. . . . Announces the arrival of an immensely gifted writer–a writer adept at capturing the sad-funny mess that happens to be one woman’s life.” –Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“Read Still Life with Husband for its funny, winning voice and an ending that could be debated by book clubs for months to come. . . . Witty and appealing.” –Ann Oldenburg, USA Today
“Any woman who's ever found herself looking at her life and wondering how on earth she wound up there will relate to the characters in this funny, honest novel about the truths we reluctantly admit to ourselves, and the consequences that follow. Still Life with Husband is a terrific debut by a writer from whom you'll want to hear more.” –Jodi Picoult, author of Nineteen Minutes
“Still Life with Husband is a breath of fresh air. . . . Fox’s narrator can be sharply witty, laugh-out-loud funny, or plaintively perceptive, depending on the situation–and sometimes all three at once. . . . Fox’s humor reminds me of playwright Wendy Wasserstein, who also had a sharp eye for a certain kind of bourgeois hypocrisy. . . . Fox assumes real intelligence on the part of her readers, and she doesn’t go for easy answers.” –Sharon Pomerantz, Chicago Tribune
“First novelist Lauren Fox is a smooth, wry writer. Her primary achievement is taking you on a slow-motion, step-by-step trip down the infamous slippery slope, showing you how a bored but decent woman starts on high, safe ground and ends up in a ditch. Even more impressively, she does this without your completely losing sympathy for Emily, much as you would stick by your best friend even as you watched her taking out her frustrations on the people she loves.” –The Washington Post
“With deft prose and witty characterization. . . Fox gives us an all-too-real glance into what most married people have at one time or another wondered about (if not acted upon): the thrill-ride of illicit love. Emily’s first-person narrative may be laugh-out-loud funny, but it’s also an honest, compassionate look at the heartbreak of misplaced intimacy.” –Amy Woods Butler, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Hard to resist. . . . Fox approaches the subject of adultery with a certain Midwestern modestly and practicality. It’s the story of Madame Bovary with dairy products instead of arsenic. . . . Fox neatly balances the comic and the serious. . . . Still Life with Husband goes down easy, but under its surface is a meditation on the limits of free will and the difficulty of monogamy.” –The Columbus Dispatch
“Still Life with Husband is an intimate, emotionally articulate, and technically deft anatomy of family, friendship, and love. It is also the debut novel of a meticulous, compassionate, and gifted young writer.” –Lorrie Moore, author of Birds of America
“Fox . . . write[s] smartly, simply and sagely about the lives and desires and dreams of women. . . . Nuanced and introspective.” –Geeta Sharma Jensen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Lauren Fox takes on infidelity with an honesty and realism that may inspire you to love the one you’re with.” –Tango
“This first novel by Lauren Fox is like finding a new friend, the kind of person one meets on a long bus or train journey, and with whom one instantly shares personal details. . . . It's this knack for getting into the nitty-gritty of people's makeup, yet with a brevity that somehow says it all, that makes Still Life with Husband such an enjoyable read.” –Greer Fay Cashman , The Jerusalem Post
"Still Life With Husband tells the story of a woman who's played by the rules all her life, and then one day decides to flip over the board and send all the pieces flying. It's a charming, touching, and engaging debut." –Sarah Dunn, author of The Big Love
“With this satisfying debut novel, Fox has written a twist on the typical chick lit tale. The story looks at happiness vs. loyalty and reconsiders the adage, Be careful what you wish for.” –Library Journal
“Funny, honest, and highly entertaining, Still Life with Husband is a novel to savor.” –Lucinda Rosenfeld, author of What She Saw . . . and Why She Went Home
“We all know the heroine of Still Life with Husband—the life-long good girl doing something decidedly bad. Through Lauren Fox’s charming, deft prose, Emily becomes as real as our sisters, our best friends, even ourselves. Her wit and dead-on eye for detail keep us rooting relentlessly for this very human woman and reading her story long past bedtime.” –Shari Goldhagen, author of Family and Other Accidents
"As searingly funny as it is searingly sad, Lauren Fox's first novel is a rare, unexpected, and even daring book." –Liam Callanan, author of All Saints