M.A. (University of Kansas)
Laura Moriarty earned her M.A. in creative writing at the University of Kansas. In 2000, she was selected as the Writer-in-Residence at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. She is the author of four novels: The Chaperone (Riverhead Books 2012), While I'm Falling (Hyperion 2009),The Rest of Her Life (Hyperion 2007), and The Center of Everything (Hyperion 2003).
Historical fiction, women and fiction, and personal narrative
Inspired by the life of silent-film star Louise Brooks, the story of two women who could not be more different, and the summer that changed them both.
In 1922, only a few years before she will become an icon for her generation, a fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita for a summer in New York City and the avant-garde Denishawn School of Dance. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone. Cora Carlisle is neither mother nor friend, just a respectable neighbor Louise’s parents have hired for propriety’s sake. But upstanding, traditional Cora has her own private reason for making the trip.
"With her shiny black bob and milky skin, Louise Brooks epitomized silent-film glamour. But in Laura Moriarty's engaging new novel The Chaperone, Brooks is just a hyper-precocious and bratty 15-year-old, and our protagonist, 36-year-old Cora Carlisle, has the not-easy mission of keeping the teenager virtuous while on a trip from their native Kansas to New York City. After a battle of wills, there's a sudden change of destiny for both women, with surprising and poignant results."—Entertainment Weekly
"Captivating and wise . . . In The Chaperone, Moriarty gives us a historically detailed and nuanced portrayal of the social upheaval that spilled into every corner of American life by 1922. . . . [An] inventive and lovely Jazz Age story."—Washington Post