In Again Again, a novel full of surprises from the New York Times bestselling author of We Were Liars and Genuine Fraud, E. Lockhart ups the ante with an inventive and romantic story about human connection, forgiveness, self-discovery, and possibility. We spoke with author E. Lockhart about her inspiration, the challenge of writing multiple universes, and more.
Please tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write this book and how this story took shape for you.
I love a good love story, but sometimes I feel like I’m being sold a fantasy. I was looking for a way to write about love with brutal honesty and also without cynicism. How could I make something sincere and hopeful and romantic, that was also truthful? The answer was to write the story in multiple universes, which was REALLY NOT EASY. But in the end, that unusual concept allowed me to tell the story of Adelaide’s infatuation with Jack in the way that I wanted to.
In two sentences or less, what’s something that might surprise Libro.fm listeners about your audiobook?
The producers found clever ways to indicate the switch from universe to universe!
Have you listened to your own audiobook? If so, what struck you about the narration?
Tavia Gilbert narrated Mommie Dearest by Christina Crawford, some steamy romance novels, biographies of Susan Sontag and Audrey Hepburn and Eleanor Roosevelt, plus some great YA novels. I love her range.
Are you an audiobook listener? If so, what are some of your favorite audiobooks?
I listen to books all the time–while exercising, cleaning house, running errands or traveling on the subway (I live in NYC). I’ve been loving comic essays by Samantha Irby and Jenny Lawson–Wow, No Thank You. and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, etc. I adored French Exit by Patrick deWitt and Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams on audio.
Note: Check out our author interview with Samantha Irby here!
What have independent bookstores and/or booksellers meant to you personally and professionally?
Independent bookshops have been the heartbeat for most of my books. Readers know We Were Liars, which came out in 2014, but it takes real, thoughtful booksellers talking to customers to tell people my about my other books and find the right readers for them. While sheltering at home, I am buying from Flying Pig up in Vermont and from Greenlight Bookstore here in Brooklyn—both of which I adore.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Again Again is set on the same boarding school campus as my older novel, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. And it has a lot of dogs in it: Rabbit, Lord Voldemort, Pretzel, EllaBella, The Great God Pan, and Birthday Cake.
Header photo by Heather Weston