Caroline Leavitt at McNally Jackson

When I started at Algonquin in late June, the entire office was abuzz with excitement for Caroline Leavitts novel, Pictures of You. Advance Review Copies  were in unusually short supply and, as they were being requested almost hourly, we wound up needing to go to press on the paperback months earlier than anticipated—a very rare thing to happen—and then back to press twice more before the release date. And we still can’t seem to keep Pictures of You in stock on the office shelves.
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Caroline reading

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So, it was with great anticipation that I attended the kickoff to Caroline’s “vintage cardigan and red cowboy boots” book tour at McNally Jackson on her official pub date, January 25. For the event, Caroline partnered with Jennifer Gilmore, author of Something Red. After the ladies read short excerpts from their respective novels, the two began a dialogue; Jennifer, a professor at the New School, asked Caroline probing, insightful questions about the book and Caroline’s writing process that made for a lively, informative event.
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Jennifer and Caroline

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What you may not know about Caroline Leavitt and Pictures of You (unless you were at McNally Jackson, that is):

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1.)   Caroline is motivated by superstition and fear. She tells herself that if she doesn’t write every day, something bad will happen—which may be why her social networking statuses so often announce that she’s “writing.” Likewise, Pictures of You was sparked by Caroline’s phobia of driving (her husband doubles as her chauffer when she’s not utilizing public transportation).

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2.)   Nervous about audience attendance at the McNally Jackson event, Caroline took to Twitter and invited the following New York City-based celebs: Yoko Ono, Moby, Sarah Jessica Parker, Timothy Hutton, and Sandra Bernhard. Sadly, none of them showed (unless they were incognito); but future notable author, Jon Michaud (When Tito Loved Clara), did come out to support Caroline.

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3.)   Pictures of You takes place in Cape Cod because that is the town Caroline most dislikes. She isn’t a fan of the ocean, is afraid of sharks, and has vivid memories of being “forced” to vacation there as a child. So, it made sense to her that her protagonist, Isabelle, would feel trapped there, too. (Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Cape Cod is often foggy—the perfect weather for a deadly car accident.)

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Excited as I am about Pictures of You? Be sure to catch Caroline on tour! You won’t be disappointed.
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–Emily Parliman, Assistant to the Publisher

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