Franklin, Emily

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Franklin, Emily

PERSONAL:

Married; children: three. Education: Attended Oxford University; Sarah Lawrence College, B.A.; Dartmouth College, M.A.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Newton, MA. Agent—Faye Bender, Faye Bender Literary, 227 West 76th St., #E1, New York, NY 10023.

CAREER:

Writer, novelist, short-story writer, poet, radio writer, and public speaker. Member of staff of Car Talk, National Public Radio (NPR).

WRITINGS:

"PRINCIPLES OF LOVE" SERIES

Piece, Love, and Happiness, New American Library (New York, NY), 2005.

The Principles of Love, New American Library (New York, NY), 2005.

All You Need Is Love, New American Library (New York, NY), 2006.

Love from London, New American Library (New York, NY), 2006.

Summer of Love, New American Library (New York, NY), 2007.

NOVELS

Liner Notes, Downtown Press (New York, NY), 2003.

The Girls' Almanac, Avon (New York, NY), 2006.

Early Girls: A Novel in Stories, Avon (New York, NY), 2006.

The Other Half of Me, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2007.

OTHER

(Editor, with Heather Swain) Before: Short Stories about Pregnancy from Our Top Writers, Overlook Press (New York, NY), 2006.

(Editor) It's a Wonderful Lie: Twenty-six Truths about Life in Your Twenties, 5 Spot (New York, NY), 2007.

(Editor, with Heather Swain) After: Short Stories about Parenting from Our Top Writers, Overlook Press (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor to periodicals, including the Boston Globe, Sarah Lawrence Literary Review, Pindeldyboz, Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, Improper Bostonian, Word, Dialogue, and Cargoes.

SIDELIGHTS:

Novelist, poet, and short-story writer Emily Franklin is an author and radio writer who serves on the staff of the popular National Public Radio program Car Talk. In her debut novel, Liner Notes, she chronicles a road trip undertaken by Laney, newly out of graduate school, and her mother. After completing her graduate studies, Laney is eagerly anticipating a leisurely cross-country drive back to her hometown of Boston and the job waiting for her there. Laney is dismayed, however, when her visiting mother invites herself along for the ride. Still, her mother has recently suffered a serious illness and is in remission from Hodgkin's lymphoma, and Laney can hardly say no. The two commence a rambling trip across the midlands of America, from California to Oklahoma to Tennessee and finally to Boston. On the way, the two women grow closer than either expected, and "the narrative moves unswervingly forward, toward home and a friendship between mother and daughter," noted a Publishers Weekly reviewer.

The Principles of Love follows Love Bukowski, a young woman newly arrived at a private school where her father is the principal. She falls for a young man named Rob, a handsome and charming hunk with a godlike physique and a commanding, alpha-male personality. To her surprise, Love also meets and becomes interest in Jason, a more sensitive, musically inclined artistic type in her English literature class. As the novel progresses, Love easily fits into the routine and social structure of the school, but is alternately alarmed and pleased when the possibility of actual romance with Rob looms after he breaks up with his girlfriend. The novel is "done up with a literary and mature style," commented a Kirkus Reviews contributor.

Franklin's The Girls' Almanac, a loosely interconnected series of short stories, focuses on the struggles of a group of women seeking love and friendship. The early stories address the characters in girlhood and progress through their adolescence and sometimes troubled adulthood. Library Journal reviewer Beth Gibbs remarked that "while each story is appealing and well written, the book as a whole is confusing. However, a Publishers Weekly reviewer noted: "Franklin's smart prose sees her characters through rites of passage including first sexual encounters, marriage, and motherhood" as well as harsher realities of life, including terminal illness, widowhood, and infidelity. In "Early Girls," Lucy mourns her deceased fiance even as she forlornly helps her mother prepare for her second wedding. In "The Math of the Fourth Child," two women consider their predictions for the future of a child who has yet to be conceived. "Kindling" finds two roommates dealing with the characteristics of their joint living situations. Franklin also features male protagonists, including the teacher in "Community Service," who suffers emotional trauma while supervising a group of troubled teens performing their required community service. The collection, noted a Kirkus Reviews contributor, "fits neatly into, but never transcends, the subset of popular fiction consumed by women who love to read about, above all, themselves."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2005, review of The Principles of Love, p. 682; August 1, 2006, review of The Girls' Almanac, p. 742.

Library Journal, October 1, 2006, Beth Gibbs, review of The Girls' Almanac, p. 63.

Publishers Weekly, September 22, 2003, review of Liner Notes, p. 83; July 17, 2006, review of The Girls' Almanac, p. 133.

ONLINE

Armchair Interviews,http://www.armchairinterviews.com/ (February 24, 2007), Andrea Sisco, review of All You Need Is Love.

Emily Franklin Home Page,http://www.emilyfranklin.com (February 24, 2007).

HarperCollins Web site,http://www.harpercollins.com/ (February 24, 2007), biography of Emily Franklin; interview with Emily Franklin.

Young Adult (and Kids!) Books Central,http://www.yabookscentral.com/ (February 24, 2006), interview with Emily Franklin.