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Lisa Taddeo on Joan Didion, 'Gone Girl,' and the Book That Currently Sits on Her Nightstand

Lisa Taddeo on Joan Didion, 'Gone Girl,' and the Book That Currently Sits on Her Nightstand Image
  • Posted on 14th Jun, 2022 13:15 PM
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The author of Three Women and Ghost Lover takes our literary survey.

Welcome to Shelf Life, ELLE.com’s books column, in which authors share their most memorable reads. Whether you’re on the hunt for a book to console you, move you profoundly, or make you laugh, consider a recommendation from the writers in our series, who, like you (since you’re here), love books. Perhaps one of their favorite titles will become one of yours, too.

Ghost Lover
simonandschuster.com
$27.00

It took Lisa Taddeo eight years to research and write Three Women, the 2019 NYT-bestseller about female desire, and now she has enough projects to keep her busy for many more. First up: book tour for her short story collection, Ghost Lover (Avid Reader Press) out today. Come November, the Showtime series based on Three Women premieres starring Shailene Woodley and Lola Kirke, with Taddeo as writer and executive producer. She’s also writing film adaptations of her first novel, Animal (2021), and her short horror story “Dr. Fuck” that appeared in Playboy and developing a project called Beautiful Babies with Joe Lewis and Valentino. Taddeo, who lost both of her parents in her 20s, is also working on her next book, a memoir on grief.

The New Jersey-born and -raised, Connecticut-based author is a Capricorn; got her MFA from Boston University; was an editorial assistant at Golf magazine; took part in Valentino’s Narratives campaign (her mother’s favorite fashion house); has a shelf of unicorn figurines; was namechecked by Harry Styles; has a daughter named Fox, tended bar while on assignment in Ireland; and dreams about writing in the Cotswolds.

Likes: Artists Tealia Ellis Ritter and Kristin Baker, overalls, Spaghetti Westerns, peach iced tea, the Irish Hunger Memorial in NYC, The Old Place restaurant in the Santa Monica Mountains.

The book that...

…helped me through a loss:

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.

…kept me up way too late:

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

…made me weep uncontrollably:

The end of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.

…I recommend over and over again:

The Little Virtues by Natalia Ginzburg.

...shaped my worldview:

The Little Virtues by Natalia Ginzburg.

…I swear I'll finish one day:

Middlemarch by T.S. Eliot.

...I read in one sitting, it was that good:

Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin.

…currently sits on my nightstand:

The Collected Stories by William Trevor. A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríofa.

…made me laugh out loud:

London Fields by Martin Amis.

…I’d like turned into a Netflix show:

The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

...has the best title:

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You by Peter Cameron.

...has the greatest ending:

The Grapes of Wrath.

…has a sex scene that will make you blush:

House of Holes by Nicholson Baker.

…should be on every college syllabus:

The Right to Sex by Amia Srinivasan.

...I consider literary comfort food:

Anything by Alice Munro.

...makes me feel seen:

Anything by Elena Ferrante.

...I’d want signed by the author:

The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante.

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