Lustbader, Victoria 1947-
Lustbader, Victoria 1947-
Born November 11, 1947, in New York, NY; daughter of Rubin and Dorothy Schochet; married Eric Van Lustbader (an author). Education: State University of New York at Stony Brook, B.A.
Home—Southampton, NY; New York, NY. Agent—Laurie Liss, Sterling Lord Literistics, 65 Bleecker St., New York, NY 10012. E-mail—[email protected]
Harper & Row (publishers), New York, NY, began as manuscript reader, became assistant to the editor for fantasy and science fiction, beginning 1969; freelance editor; Nature Conservancy, began as development staff worker, became board member for New York State chapter.
Hidden, Forge (New York, NY), 2006.
With a background in fiction publishing and a husband who is a novelist, Victoria Lustbader was very familiar with the art of writing by the time she decided to try it for herself. Her first published work is the historical novel called Hidden. The story of the ties between two families from very different worlds, the novel is set during World War I and the Roaring Twenties. The pivotal characters in the tale are Jed Gates, the son of a wealthy New York City businessman, and David Warshinsky, who comes from a poor Jewish family. Both men leave their families to enlist in World War I, and here they meet and become fast friends. When they return home, David does not want to go back to his old life and instead gets Jed's help to join Gates's company. He changes his name to David Shaw and denies his Jewish background. Meanwhile, Jed is also in denial of his true identity as a gay man. Lustbader follows the two families through this connection as they live through drastically changing times, see family members die tragically, and try to face down villainous characters.
Reviewers commenting on Hidden were impressed by its historical detail and well-rounded characters, but also found some flaws in Lustbader's debut. For example, Washington Post critic Brigitte Weeks felt the author was guilty of some stereotyping, especially of the female characters, adding that "Lustbader's skill in making us genuinely interested in these characters does make her tendency to bump them off when they get in the way of the plot sometimes aggravating." Weeks, however, commented that these were small flaws in a novel that "delivers robustly on its promise to take readers into another era." Marianne Fitzgerald, writing for the Library Journal, enjoyed the "fully dimensional and deftly drawn characters" in this "hard-to- put-down, historically accurate tale."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, June 15, 2006, Marianne Fitzgerald, review of Hidden, p. 58.
Washington Post, July 6, 2006, Brigitte Weeks, "Characters from Both Sides of the Tracks Mingle in a Tale of Early 20th-Century New York," review of Hidden.
Bookreporter.com,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (November 13, 2006), Carole Turner, review of Hidden.
Fantastic Fiction,http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/ (November 13, 2006), review of Hidden.