Rabb, Margo 1972- (M.E. Rabb)

views updated

Rabb, Margo 1972- (M.E. Rabb)


Born 1972, in New York, NY; married; husband's name Marshall; children: one daughter.


Home—Brooklyn, NY. Agent—c/o William Morris Agency, 1325 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019. E-mail—[email protected].



Awards, Honors

Best New American Voices award, 2000; Association of Jewish Libraries Notable Book selection, and Booksense Pick, both 2007, both for Cures for Heartbreak; grand prize, Zoetrope Short Story Contest; first prize, Atlantic Monthly Fiction Contest; first prize, American Fiction Contest; PEN Syndicated Fiction Project Award.


Cures for Heartbreak, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor of short fiction to periodicals, including Atlantic Monthly, Mademoiselle, Best New American Voices, New England Review, One Story, Chicago Review, Glimmer Train, Shenandoah, and Seventeen. Work included in anthologies, such as New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 2000; Best New American Voices, 2000; Zoetrope II, 2003; and Mother Knows, 2004.


The Rose Queen, Speak (New York, NY), 2004.

The Chocolate Lover, Speak (New York, NY), 2004.

The Venetian Policeman, Speak (New York, NY), 2004.

The Unsuspecting Gourmet, Speak (New York, NY), 2004.


Although Margo Rabb began her career as a writer of literary short fiction, a suggestion from an editor turned her interest writing for young adults. As she told an interviewer for Bookslut.com, "young adult novels, and mysteries, were so important to me as a kid and teenager. The books that I read at that age affected me very deeply, and I remember those books more vividly than some books I read last year." Published under Rabb's pen name of M.E. Rabb, her "Missing Persons" series features Sarn and Sophie Shattenberg, New York City sisters who move to the Midwest and find themselves solving crime. Adam Langer, reviewing the series for Book, described the "Missing Persons" novels as "sprightly, humorous romps."

Cures for Heartbreak, a standalone novel, was more of a labor of love. Written over the course of eight years and told from the perspective of fifteen-year-old Mia Perlman, the novel follows the girl as she struggles through the grief of losing her mother. Like Mia, Rabb had also suffered the death of her mother, and after she finished the first draft of the novel her father died. To deal with her grief, the novelist read many stories featuring grieving characters, eventually returning to fiction writing but putting Cures for Heartbreak on hold. Several years later, she returned to the manuscript, completing the editing process.

Cures for Heartbreak records Mia's freshman year in high school and recounts her struggles to cope not with only her grief, but also with her emotionally distant father and old sister. "Readers will cherish this powerful debut," wrote Gillian Engberg in Booklist, while HornBook critic Christine M. Heppermann praised Cures for Heartbreak as "an artful mix of the poignant and the sometimes comically mundane." A Publishers Weekly contributor called Rabb's young-adult novel "keenly insightful," and went on to note that the author "balances sorrow with humor" and "writes with authority and precision."

Asked about her evolution as a writer, Rabb explained to a Random House Web site interviewer: "I've wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I've kept a journal since I was twelve, and have written in it nearly every day since I was seventeen. The one I'm writing in now is the seventy-ninth…. I love capturing people and places and fleeting experiences, and reading about them again years later, long after I've forgotten them."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Book, January-February, 2003, "The New Nancy Drew: Margo Rabb," p. 49.

Booklist, December 15, 2006, Gillian Engberg, review of Cures for Heartbreak, p. 47.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, April, 2007, Deborah Stevenson, review of Cures for Heartbreak, p. 342.

Horn Book, March-April, 2007, Christine M. Heppermann, review of Cures for Heartbreak, p. 201.

Kliatt, January, 2007, Myrna Marler, review of Cures for Heartbreak, p. 18.

Publishers Weekly, January 22, 2007, review of Cures for Heartbreak, p. 186.

School Library Journal, January, 2007, Miranda Doyle, review of Cures for Heartbreak, p. 136.

Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 2007, Carlisle Kraft Webber, review of Cures for Heartbreak, p. 55.


Bookslut Web site,http://www.bookslut.com/ (March 10, 2008), interview with Rabb.

Margo Rabb Home Page,http://www.margorabb.com (March 5, 2008).

Random House Web site,http://www.randomhouse.com/ (March 10, 2008), "M.E. Rabb."

Studio 2B Web site,http://www.studio2b.org/ (March 10, 2008), Judy Schoenberg, interview with Rabb.