My Sister from the Black Lagoon
A Novel of My Life
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.
Read an Excerpt
I was born into a mentally ill family. My sister was the officially crazy one, but really we were all nuts.
The first memory I have of things nutty -- and I don't mean cute and screwball but, rather, things malevolent and indelible -- is looking at a photograph of my sister, age three, sitting grimly on the toilet.
"This is the moment I realized that she wasn't like us," Mother said, pointing at Lonnie's vacant eyes in the photograph. It was 1956, I was an awkward four-year-old and completely mystified by this snapshot of my sister. "You can see she wasn't all there, wasn't with the family," Mother... see more