My Sister from the Black Lagoon

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.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439130018 | 
  • May 2010
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Read an Excerpt

Let Me Entertain You

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...
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About the Author

Laurie Fox
Photo Credit:

Laurie Fox

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:




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