Friday, April 12, 2024

Laurie Colwin Remembered, Author of Wonderful Stories


Today would have been author/writer/novelist/essayist/short story writer Laurie Colwin‘s 66th birthday. She died on October 24, 1992 of a sudden heart attack at age 48.

Every year I tell my readers about Laurie, so we never forget her. All of her terrific, insightful, funny, trenchant books are in print, which is a rarity. All the novels like “Happy All the Time,” “Family Happiness,” and “A Big Storm Knocked it Over” to short story collections–“Another Marvelous Thing,” “The Lone Pilgrim”– and her essays “Home Cooking” and “More Home Cooking.”

I always like to remind everyone that it was Laurie, working in the editorial department of EP Dutton under the late great Henry Robbins, who discovered and published Fran Lebowitz’s seminal collection, “Metropolitan Life.” Laurie read Lebowitz’s “I Cover the Waterfront” column in Interview magazine, and told Robbins they had to publish her. Laurie also worked for Charles Schulz, the creator of  Peanuts.

But it’s her own writing that we continue to revel in 18 years after her death. Why none of these stories haven’t been turned translated into film is a mystery. All the characters are so perfect–for actresses especially. All the women who complain there are no parts should read these books and option them. Lucy Liu, for example, would be just right as Holly in “Happy All the Time.” Parker Posey could be Misty Berkowitz. And so on. Oprah’s new network should option the whole collection!

You can catch up with Laurie’s world at and on Facebook. She was a great friend, mother and wife. Happy Birthday Laurie! I can’t wait for thousands of new readers to discover the wonderful gifts you left behind.

(photo by Nancy Crampton)

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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