Fox, Lauren

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Fox, Lauren

PERSONAL:

Married Andrew Kincaid (a professor of English); children: one daughter. Education: University of Wisconsin at Madison, B.A., 1991; University of Minnesota, M.F.A., 1998.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Milwaukee, WI.

CAREER:

Author.

WRITINGS:

Still Life with Husband (novel), Knopf (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor to periodicals, including Glamour, Seventeen, Utne Reader, and Salon.com.

SIDELIGHTS:

After studying English and creative writing in college, Lauren Fox worked part-time jobs while focusing on writing a book. Her first effort was to write a nonfiction title about her family's experiences in the Holocaust. Although excerpts of this work have appeared in magazines, Fox had not completed it when she came up with an idea for a novel. "The idea that occurred to me [is] that men who cheat on their wives get a lot of attention in the media, but women who stray don't," she told Geeta Sharma Jensen in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I wanted to see what I could do with that idea. I thought I'd give myself a couple of years to see where I could take it." The result was Still Life with Husband, a book about thirty-year-old Emily Ross, whose husband of nine years, Kevin, is pressuring her to move to the suburbs and bear his child. Emily, however, is utterly bored with her existence. She is far from sure she wants her life to be that of a stay-at-home mother, and her pregnant friend Meg's urgings to join her in motherhood are not helping. While in this state of mind, Emily meets a handsome editor named David. The two become friends and Emily pretends her interest in David is just professional, as he has asked her if she would write a column for him. Friendship soon sparks into romance, however, and Emily indulges in her unfulfilled passions only to then become stricken with guilt over cheating on her husband.

Michiko Kakutani, writing in the New York Times, remarked on other problems: "Not only are … events hurriedly strung together in a highly implausible fashion, but Ms. Fox further undermines her plot by failing to make Kevin and David into full-fledged human beings." Kakutani added, however: "What makes the reader keep reading Still Life, despite these serious narrative lapses, is Ms. Fox's wonderfully quirky voice and her ability to evoke Emily's state of mind with a bracing mixture of clarity and compassion." A Kirkus Reviews writer asserted that "Fox ably evokes the suffocation of a well-meaning but empty marriage and Emily's guilt-ridden but sexually charged affair."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 15, 2006, Joanne Wilkinson, review of Still Life with Husband, p. 27.

Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2006, review of Still Life with Husband, p. 1092.

Library Journal, January 1, 2007, Robin Nesbitt, review of Still Life with Husband, p. 92.

New York Times, February 16, 2007, Michiko Kakutani, "Unhappy Wife Entangles Herself in a Sad-Funny Mess," p. 36.

ONLINE

Armchair Interviews,http://www.armchairinterviews.com/ (May 17, 2007), Sharon Broom, review of Still Life with Husband.

Decatur Daily Online,http://www.decaturdaily.com/ (March 11, 2007), Loretta Gillespie, review of Still Life with Husband.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online,http://www.jsonline.com/ (February 10, 2007), Geeta Sharma Jensen, "Talking With: Lauren Fox."

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