I’m so honored to be a recipient of a Meret grant from The Freya Project (whose work you should follow immediately if you’re not already, especially in these days of darkness for abortion access). This news and note came at a time when I was (am) struggling in my project, and it means a lot to have an organization that believes so strongly in the power of stories put faith in the one I’m working on telling. I’m so grateful to receive this honor and funding—which, of course, goes right into the summer childcare budget. Much love and respect for this powerful organization and the work they do to raise the voices of women and non-binary writers and citizens. You can read more about The Freya Project and the other recipients of 2019 grants here.
It's still an out-of-body experience to type this, but BACK TALK got a brilliant review by Carmen Maria Machado in this weekend's New York Times Book Review. A taste:
"I loathe the word “polished” in the context of prose. It’s too clinical, implying that the work was dull before the author intentionally spruced it up. So I’d prefer to say that the sentences in these stories are living and seamless, as if Lazarin had run her hand over them until they became smooth and gleaming with the evidence of her touch. Yet they are not without viscera; sublimated rage fills the crevices between them."
It's part of a special book review issue on women, and Machado is a thoughtful and generous reader who made me feel like the book was truly seen. I'm so grateful for her words on this book. Online now, in the print edition on March 25, 2018.
It's been a week, my friends. So much wonderfulness happened including:
- My book went on sale at bookstores everywhere and also as an ebook in the UK! (UK Paperback coming in May)
- Readings at the lovely Book Culture on Columbus and Books Are Magic.
- Making so many lists of wonderful February books like this and this and this and this.
- Publisher's Weekly named me a Debut Writer to Watch!
- I got to gab about my book on podcasts and in print.
- I published stories here and here and here.
- And an essay about teaching my daughters to be rude that I'm super proud of.
- I spoke to so many amazing readers and friends in the signing line. I met a few new dogs. I probably wrote a few weird things in your books.
- I got a lot of love---nail art! staff pics! shots of my book in the wild! excited friends!---that I'm riding high on.
Thanks for an amazing first week for BACK TALK! More to come!
Penguin made this behind the scenes video of my cover designer, the brilliant Lynn Buckley, as she talks about her work and designing the cover for BACK TALK. I make a brief appearance at the end.