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My Sister from the Black Lagoon

A Novel of My Life


"I was born into a mentally ill family. My sister was the officially crazy one, but really we were all nuts."

So begins My Sister from the Black Lagoon, Laurie Fox's incandescent novel of growing up absurd. Lorna Person's tale is wrested from the shadows cast by her sister, Lonnie, whose rages command the full attention of her parents. Their San Fernando Valley household is off-key and out of kilter, a place where Lonnie sees evil in the morning toast and runs into the Burbank hills to join the animals that seem more like her kin. Lorna, on the other hand, is an acutely sensitive girl who can't relate to Barbie. "Could Barbie feel sorrow? Could Barbie understand what it's like to be plump, lonely, Jewish?"

My Sister from the Black Lagoon is a wisecracked bell jar, a heartbreaking study of sane and crazy. Laurie Fox's delightful voice is knowing yet wide-eyed, lyrical, and witty.

Photo Credit:

Laurie Fox is the author of Sexy Hieroglyphics and My Sister from the Black Lagoon. A former bookseller and creative-writing teacher, she has worked in the publishing industry for seventeen years. Laurie lives with her husband, author-journalist D. Patrick Miller, and her cats, Lewis and Gracie, in Berkeley, California. For more information about the author and her work, visit her website:

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (May 11, 2010)
  • Length: 336 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781439130018

Valerie Frankel The New York Times Book Review Fox's prose is beautiful...effective and stirring.

Beth Witrogen McLeod San Francisco Examiner Hypnotic, darkly humorous.

Publishers Weekly, starred review A triumph of storytelling verve, dark humor, and unabashed candor.

Margaria Fichtner The Miami Herald [A] remarkable, almost aggressively vibrant blend of fiction and memoir.

Jan Winburn The Baltimore Sun Achingly honest and surprisingly funny...heartrending.

Elisabeth Sherwin Book Page Laurie Fox has managed to turn what could have been a harrowing and depressing autobiographical novel into a moving and funny story.