Winston, Lolly 1962(?)–
Winston, Lolly 1962(?)–
PERSONAL: Born c. 1962, in Hartford, CT; married Anders Wallgren (a consulting software engineer). Education: Attended Simon's Rock College; Bard College, B.A.; Sarah Lawrence College, M.F.A. (literature).
ADDRESSES: Home—CA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Warner Books, 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.
CAREER: Author. Previously worked as a corporate copywriter, public affairs officer for a trauma hospital, and freelance journalist; taught English as a second language and classes in writing.
Good Grief (novel), Warner Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Contributor to various publications, including Redbook, Family Circle, Working Mother, New Woman, Sunset, Automotive News, and Lifetime.
SIDELIGHTS: Author Lolly Winston has been writing in some form or another for most of her adult life, ranging from copywriting to articles automotive magazines. Fiction, however, remained her first love, and she set herself a goal of writing her first novel by the time she was forty. Good Grief is the result of Winston's vow. The novel recounts the story of Sophie, a young widow who at the age of thirty-six struggles to get a grip on her life and move forward. After suffering a breakdown, during which she appears at work in her robe and slippers, she knows she needs to take drastic measures. In an attempt to start over, Sophie moves to Ashland, Oregon, where things don't go precisely as she had planned.
Winston's own grief over the loss of her parents prompted her to examine the subject of how people cope with loss. Ultimately, she chose to focus on a character who has lost a spouse early in life because it is a less-common event than the death of a parent. In an interview with Bookreporter.com, Winston explained, "By the time I started writing the book I was married, and so I tapped into my worst fear—the death of my spouse." Winston worked on the novel part time for four years before she stopped freelancing to devote herself to finishing it.
In a review for the New York Times, Janet Maslin wrote of Good Grief that "it's capably rendered and extremely reader-friendly." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly called the book a "heartbreaking, gorgeous look at loss," and Carol Haggas, in Booklist, wrote that "tackling a difficult subject in a debut novel is a gutsy move, and Winston pulls it off with just the right blend of heartfelt humor and heartwarming humanity."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 1, 2004, Carol Haggas, review of Good Grief, p.1135.
Entertainment Weekly, April 9, 2004, Jennifer Reese, review of Good Grief, p. 92.
Hollywood Reporter, April 22, 2004, Chris Gardner, Borys Kit, "Winston Giving Universal 'Grief,'" p. 8.
Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2004, review of Good Grief, p. 201.
Library Journal, March 15, 2004, Kellie Gillespie, review of Good Grief, p. 109.
Mercury News, May 18, 2004, Mark Whittington, "Lolly Winston Writes Her Own Ticket."
New York Times, April 21, 2004, Janet Maslin, "A Widow Becomes a Baker and Rises to the Occasion," p. E7.
People, April 19, 2004, Melanie Danburg, review of Good Grief, p. 49.
Publishers Weekly, March 1, 2004, review of Good Grief, p. 47.
AllReaders.com, http://www.allreaders.com/ (July 26, 2004), Harriet Klausner, review of Good Grief.
Bookbooters.com, http://www.bookbooters.com/ (July 26, 2004), review of Good Grief.
BookBrowse.com, http://www.bookbrowse.com/ (July 26, 2004), review of Good Grief.
BookReporter.com, http://www.bookreporter.com/ (July 26, 2004), "Lolly Winston."
Time Warner Web site, http://www.twbookmark.com/ (July 26, 2004).