Books by Laurie Foos

THE BLUE GIRL by Laurie Foos
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 14, 2015

"Foos effortlessly inserts a humanized sin-eater into the center of a complex, emotionally volatile group of families, creating a work that is haunting and healing in equal measure."
In Foos' sixth novel, a mysteriously pigmented girl in a small lakeside town serves as the focal point for the unraveling of three families, as told from the perspectives of the women and their daughters who surreptitiously feed the girl moon pies. Read full book review >
BEFORE ELVIS THERE WAS NOTHING by Laurie Foos
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 2005

"Foos strives for a light touch, but the recurrent references here (hair, feet, ham sandwiches, the allure of Jewry and Elvis trivia) seem more like nervous tics than prompts for a sympathetic chuckle. "
After tackling wombs and walruses in her previous fiction, whimsical satirist Foos uses her fifth outing to showcase a human horn and an all-too-human King. Read full book review >
TWINSHIP by Laurie Foos
Released: Sept. 1, 1999

Another mad fantasy by Foos (Portrait of the Walrus by a Young Artist, 1997, etc.), who here imagines the complications attending the birth of the first human clone. You might think that the absence of fathers would simplify things considerably down at Family Court. Think again. Maxi Dublin, in her mid-30s, got the idea that she would like to be a mother before it was too late. A cat breeder, Maxi is unmarried and likely to remain so for the foreseeable future, but her assistant Jerry is young and virile—if gay—and seems capable of being seduced, so Maxi has him over for dinner one night. Things don—t go exactly as planned, but nevertheless Maxi soon discovers that something is growing in her womb, and in due course she delivers a healthy baby girl. Jerry, however, isn—t the father. In fact, no one is: the baby is a clone of Maxi, the first successful human clone in history. Suddenly Maxi and her baby Middle are at the center of a media whirlwind, with scientists, philosophers, and politicians from every corner of the globe demanding to know how Maxi did it and whether she should be feted or condemned. Maxi's mother Minnie steps in, too, claiming that the baby is rightfully hers: Since Middle is Maxie's clone (i.e., since she's identical to Maxie), she's actually Minnie's daughter. Got that? The legal claim is pretty thin, but this is a new field, after all. So Minnie takes matters into her own hands and kidnaps the baby. Suddenly the HMOs, eager to learn how to clone people, join the fray: Unless the baby's returned and offered for medical examination, all coverage will be dropped nationwide. Poor Maxi. She just wants her baby/self back, so they can live a normal life together. As if there was ever half a chance in the first place. Funny and sharp, though a bit labored in its own sense of relevance and lacking the light touch of Foos's earlier romps. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1997

A mad tale of a mad genius, by a young author (Ex Utero, 1995) who may be a genius herself. The coming-of-age story has a long tradition behind it and is usually pretty easy to spot. Foos constructs hers with all the traditional materials—adolescent confusion, anger, family conflict, fear—built upon a foundation of allegory rather than realism, and the effect is as unsettling as a Tudor mansion erected in the desert. Frances Fisk, our narrator, is only 18, but she's already starting to come apart at the seams. Her late father, an artist who gained attention for his sculptures of men with chainsaws, became increasingly deranged and reclusive, dying of dehydration in a bathtub. Frances herself, with the passage of time, has grown more and more obsessed with her father and his art. Meanwhile, her mother Arlene, now married to professional bowler Stanley Boardman (``the Kingpin''), is so determined that her daughter not follow in her father's footsteps that she forbids Frances to work on her shark sculptures and insists that she take up bowling instead. ``If I had known walruses were waiting for me on some back road in Florida,'' Frances complains, ``I might have taken more of an interest in bowling.'' Why? Because the walruses Frances sees mating at the aquarium become a new obsession, one that ultimately saves her from madness and brings her to the realization that she's a poet rather than a sculptor. By the time this recognition transpires, the reader has been immersed in Frances's world long enough to understand, or at least accept, the odd logic that prevails in it, and the real strength of the narrative is the clarity with which it translates private griefs and misapprehensions into coherent symbols capable of advancing an astonishingly original story. Brilliant, fresh, and remarkable: one of the few works of recent years in which brave originality is sustained by genuine skill. Read full book review >
EX UTERO by Laurie Foos
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1995

"Foos's satire is never quite on target—and never much more than clever."
An ambitious first novel that uses heavy-handed satire to illuminate current issues of sexual difference, reproduction, and media-hype. Read full book review >