Cynthia Cannell Literary Agency
A full-service literary agency in New York City
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Lore Segal

 

Lore Segal is a lauded novelist, translator, and writer of children’s books. Her novels include OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES, serialized in The New Yorker; HER FIRST AMERICAN, which won an award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters; and SHAKESPEARE’S KITCHEN, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1970 /  Dover, 2017

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1970 / Dover, 2017

 

TELL ME A MITZI


“TELL ME A MITZI is a must!”

—School Library Journal (starred)

Lore Segal’s classic children’s book TELL ME A MITZI was originally published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 1970, with illustrations by Harriet Pincus. In this charming tale, forthcoming in hardcover reissue, three household adventures in the life of Mitzi include an intended trip to grandmother’s, sharing a family cold, and reversing the President’s motorcade.

TELL ME A MITZI won First Prize in the Book World Spring Festival and was named an ALA Notable Book. Quick to become a story-hour favorite among children, it is now widely regarded as a classic American picture book. It was included in the Knopf Books for Young Readers anthology YOU READ TO ME AND I’LL READ TO YOU: Stories from the 20th Century (2011), alongside stories from Roald Dahl and Maurice Sendak.

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HALF THE KINGDOM

“Lore Segal is … one of those rare people who combine art, eccentricity, honesty, and wisdom and who, by a change of tone, an altered inflection, produce such enchanting effects that the [reader] is swept along.”

—Chicago Tribune

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 2013

Renowned New Yorker writer Lore Segal’s HALF THE KINGDOM is a brilliant dark comedy about life, death, and growing old in post-9/11 America—a place where terrorist paranoia and end-of-the-world hysteria mask deeper fears about mortality; a place where a broken medical system leads one character to quip, “Kafka wrote slice-of-life fiction.”

HALF THE KINGDOM brings a deep appreciation for the absurd to the buoyant black humor that has become Segal’s signature—not without the tenderness, wit, and searing honesty that led the New York Times to proclaim that she “may have come closer than anyone to writing the Great American Novel.”

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LUCINELLA

“Lore Segal has taken our literary life apart so sweetly that no one will want to put it together again. LUCINELLA is a witty, elegant, beautiful book.”

—William H. Gass

Lore Segal’s brilliant – and, some would say, scathing – look at the New York literary scene was instantly beloved when it was first published and remains fresh as ever.

Segal’s novels SHAKESPEARE’S KITCHEN, MY FIRST AMERICAN, and OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES, originally published in The New Yorker, have earned her a loyal following. Now the sensitive and prickly refugee child who is the heroine of OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES has grown up, and the witty and whimsical story of her adventures among the literati is LUCINELLA. The novel opens at a Yaddo-like writers’ retreat, where life is idyllic, meals are served in one’s room, and cocktails are ready at day’s end. Back in New York City, these pampered writers face serious, real-life questions: Will a different husband, or the right publisher, or the perfect filing system, put things in order—or at least bring a moment of rest on the seesaw between euphoria and panic?

Lore Segal depicts Lucinella’s circle with loving malice. “Here,” Cynthia Ozick says, “is the enchanted microcosm, the laughter of morality.”

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SHAKESPEARE’S KITCHEN

“Lore Segal may have come closer than anyone to writing The Great American Novel.”

—The New York Times

*Pulitzer Prize finalist in fiction, 2008*

SHAKESPEARE’S KITCHEN evolved out of Lore Segal’s short stories (including twoO. Henry Prize-winners) that originally appeared inThe New Yorker. With disarming humor and a hearty dose of the absurd, Segal–one of America’s most distinguished immigrant novelists–weaves together Ilka Weissnix’s private loves and griefs with trenchant social commentary via a compelling and full-bodied cast of all-too-human character

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The New Press, 2004 ; Open Road, 2014 (ebook)

The New Press, 2004; Open Road, 2014 (ebook)

 

HER FIRST AMERICAN

“The most charming and the wittiest and the most admirable comedy of the year.”

—NPR's "All Things Considered"

She’s Ilka Weissnix, a young Jewish refugee from Hitler’s Europe, newly arrived in the United States. He’s Carter Bayoux, her first American: a middle-aged, hard-drinking black intellectual. Lore Segal’s brilliant novel is the story of their love affair—one of the funniest and saddest in modern fiction.

For Ilka Weissnix, everything is new. She is determined to escape the immigrant communities of New York and boards a train headed west to discover “the real America.” She finds Carter Bayoux “sitting on a stool in a bar in the desert, across from the railroad.” Older, portly, experienced, and black, Carter is magnetic. To Ilka, he exemplifies the values and cultures of a changing America. In order to understand her new country and her new love, Ilka throws herself into Carter’s dizzying world, nurses him through his bouts of depression and his alcoholism, and becomes fascinated by stories of his amorous past. But Carter’s ghosts are ever present, and soon Ilka finds herself torn between saving him and saving her own future.

With a foreword by Stanley Crouch, HER FIRST AMERICAN is the poignant story of an immigrant experience in a country of endless possibilities and of a rich and breathtaking love that is doomed from the start.

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The New Press, 2004  & Open Road, 2014 (ebook)

The New Press, 2004 & Open Road, 2014 (ebook)

 

Other people’s Houses

“An immensely impressive, unclassifiable book.”

—The New Republic

Originally published in 1964 and hailed by critics including Cynthia Ozick and Elie Wiesel, OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES is Lore Segal’s internationally acclaimed semi-autobiographical first novel.

On a December night in 1938, a ten-year-old girl named Lore is put on the Kindertransport, a train carrying hundreds of Jewish children out of Austria to safety from Hitler’s increasingly alarming oppression. Temporarily housed at the Dover Court Camp on England’s east coast, Lore will find herself living in other people’s houses for the next seven years: the Orthodox Levines, the Hoopers, the working-class Grimsleys, and the wealthy Miss Douglas and Mrs. Dillon.

Charged with the task of asking “the English people” to get her parents out of Austria, Lore discovers in herself an impassioned writer. In letters to potential sponsors, she details the horrors happening back at home; in those to her parents, she notes the mannerisms and reactions of the new families around her as she valiantly tries to master their language. And the closer the world comes to a new war, the more resolute Lore becomes to survive.

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