Betsy Lerner is the author of The Forest for the Trees, Food and Loathing and The Bridge Ladies. She received an MFA from Columbia University in Poetry and was the recipient of a Thomas Wolfe Poetry Prize and an Academy of American Poets Poetry Prize, and was one of PEN's Emerging Writers. She also received the Tony Godwin Publishing Prize for Editors Under 35. After working as an editor for fifteen years, she became an agent and is currently a partner with Dunow, Carlson and Lerner Literary Agency. She lives in Connecticut.
In this extract from her warm and funny memoir The Bridge Ladies, Betsy explains how discovering the unsung lives of her mother's oldest friends helped her to develop a better understanding of, and a more meaningful relationship with, her mother.
Thank you for your profound discomfort, and the kindness you showed a miserable young poet. https://t.co/ss63NSMtLp
by @BetsyLerner - 13 hours ago
#1 NYT Bestseller. Even I was able to understand the science in this beautiful, elegant book. #NeilDegrasseTyson https://t.co/vDD9LyFq8B
by @BetsyLerner - 4 days ago
First known use of the word nerd. Where's the pocket protector? https://t.co/A1xsiG6H3s
by @BetsyLerner - 7 days ago
RT @neiltyson: I've argued with people 1/4 my age about the actual mass of Mjolnir, Thor's Hammer. #ExpressionsOfImmaturity
by @BetsyLerner - 8 days ago
RT @neiltyson: I've never witnessed Angels licking their own balls and sniffing each other's butts, so I must reserve judgment until then.…
It’s Based on a Novel by a Man Named Lear - one month ago
Thanks for all the great suggestions. The clock is ticking down. Now I want to be really petty. Shocking, I know. Lately I’ve been getting what I consider to be specious fan letters. They are from people who claim to love my writing, love The Bridge Ladies, love love love. Then, because they love […]
Yesterday Don’t Matter if It’s Gone - one month ago
I’m going on vacation next week and the contemplation of what books to bring begins. I don’t use a Kindle or anything like that, so the selection of 4-5 books is a high wire act. There’s airplane reading, sitting in a London Park reading, reading on trains, in cafes, in bed. There’s the pull […]
Everything’s Going My Way - one month ago
In a hotel, watching morning TV, waiting to give a book talk at a synagogue in Philadelphia. The thought pops into my mind: why am I alive, how many years have I been on Lithium, why can’t I remember the middle of the only poem I had committed to memory? Why is my dress […]
Something Inside Had Died and I Just Can’t Fake It - one month ago
When you finish a piece of writing, I recommend: printing it out, reading it aloud, make notes with a pencil, input the changes, put the pages in the potato bin for ten days to two weeks. Reread, delete 2-10,000 words, read a major Russian novel, ask a trusted reader for feedback (no first degree […]
What Would You Do If I Sang Out of Tune? - one month ago
What do people mean when they talk about voice? For me, the first book I ever read that screamed voice was Catcher in the Rye. Then I discovered the confessional poets whose voices I loved. Is voice only first person? Is voice quirky, inflected, blood-soaked, ironic, quixotic, besotted, divided? Junot Diaz, David Sedaris. How […]
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