The Last Bookstore welcomes Jenn Stroud Rossmann, whose debut novel takes on race, class, and anxiety in Silicon Valley.
“It may be her debut, but Jenn Stroud Rossmann’s novel shows she’s a startlingly wise and insightful writer. She effortlessly weaves together the stories of the extended Loudermilk family, a rich, complicated, and loveable cast of characters. Instantly absorbing and full of life, this is a story told with humor and heart.” —Alix Ohlin, author of Inside
“Rossmann’s gift as a novelist is her keen and tender-hearted social observation of a diverse and struggling cast of characters. The Place You’re Supposed to Laugh is a wonderful and rich debut with a big heart.” — Heidi W. Durrow, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky
Pre-buy the book – even reserve a seat – right here!
It’s 2002 in Silicon Valley, and the fizz has gone out of the dot-com bubbly. Chad Loudermilk is a freshman at Palo Alto High School, and his best friend’s transfer out has made him acutely aware that he’s the only black kid at Paly. His “well-meaning but nevertheless white” adoptive parents are struggling, resenting those who continue to prosper, especially the internet mogul next door. Chad must navigate a series of “disruptions” to figure out what comes next. With insights into race and class delivered with a comic touch, The Place You’re Supposed to Laugh offers a picture of a family and neighborhood that is both heartbreaking and hilarious, sometimes at once.
Jenn Stroud Rossmann is a fiction writer and an engineer. She writes the essay series “An Engineer Reads a Novel” at Public Books. Rossmann earned her BS and PhD at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a professor of mechanical engineering at Lafayette College, and previously taught at Harvey Mudd College. She throws right, bats left.
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