Selected praise for COSTALEGRE 2019
A absolute rave review in the New York Times on pub day says of COSTALEGRE : “It’s a testament to Maum’s writing that I found myself finishing the book with a sense of a young woman’s growth. In Lara, Maum has given a little-considered daughter a more hopeful future.”
New York Magazine’s Vulture Magazine counts COSTALEGRE in the top 7 books of July, saying: “Maum’s third novel begins as fictionalized art history — its main character and her mother are based on Pegeen and Peggy Guggenheim — but quickly soars into the self-sustaining orbit of accomplished fiction. Teenage Lara narrates her and her mother’s 1937 arrival in Mexico, a refuge for artists and exiles ranging from Trotsky to André Breton. Maum renders their feverish world through the diary notes and letters of an adolescent burning with embarrassment, excitement, and love. Not a bad way to spend a world war, and reading about it is an excellent way to spend a summer weekend.”
“Maum’s coming-of-age novel among some of Europe’s elite is heartbreaking in its evocation of a teenage girl whose mother collects artists to save but who ignores the daughter struggling not to drown. Maum captures the language and the intense flux of adolescent lability. She does it so well that readers may feel they’ve intruded on something private.” says the Star Tribune.
“Maum’s slender, intelligent Costalegre is about many things: art as spectacle and art as discipline; life as joke and life as tragedy; the role of unreason in paintings and politics,” raves The Boston Globe.
A stunning review in Ploughshares says of COSTALEGRE “With both humor and criticality, Maum’s coming-of-age novel probes the hypocrisy of the art world, the challenges of being a child of artists, and the dangers of not being loved.”
Wall Street Journal calls COSTALEGRE “an indefinable mixture of counterfactual history and surrealist dreamscape, takes place on the cusp of the war in a remote Mexican village where a fictionalized Guggenheim double named Leonora Calaway has fled with a host of painters and writers marked as “degenerates” by the Third Reich.”
GOOP picked COSTALEGRE as their August book club pick and they also included it in their ten best books for Labor Day reading (and beyond), saying, “We loved this strange, beautiful novel, which is set up as the diary of a fifteen year-old-girl named Lara: It’s 1937 and Hitler is blacklisting artists.”
Apartment Therapy recommends COSTALEGRE as the first book your new book club should pick.
The tastemakers behind @theatticoneighth put together an incredible feature on “How to dress like you’re in COSTALEGRE”
BookBrowse chose COSTALEGRE as an editor’s choice and included a “Beyond the Book” feature on Pegeen Vail Guggenheim.
Refinery 29, Time Magazine Washington Post, Mind Body Green and Hello Giggles chose COSTALEGRE as one of the best reads for July, with Hello Giggles saying “Courtney Maum is a genre wizard. She covered women’s fiction with I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You and went contemporary with Touch. Her latest, Costalegre, is a historical fiction novel about artists escaping World War II that proves she really can do it all.” Washington Post raved, “If anything can be taut and lush at once, Maum’s novel fits the bill.”
The Millions chose COSTALEGRE as one of the most anticipated reads of the second half of 2019.
Lit Hub chose COSTALEGRE as one of the best books of 2019, saying: “Maum’s latest novel is told through the perspective—in vignettes, unsent letters, sketches, and dashed-off thoughts—of a teenage girl toted off to Mexico in the late 1930s to live with her art-collector/socialite mother and her cadre of surrealists . . . so basically my dream. Can’t wait to read this one.”
“Any Aquarius worth their salt will thrill to wander into the world of Maum’s Costalegre: that is, a group of avant-garde artists hanging around the Mexican jungle. It’s just the kind of oddball escape that progressive, independent-minded, and artistic Aquarians live for.” It’s COSTALEGRE in Lit Hub’s “Astrology Book Club!”
Library Journal shares its lovely COSTALEGRE verdict: Inspired by Peggy Guggenheim and her daughter, Pegeen, this mother-daughter dysfunctional relationship is beautifully explored by Maum (Touch) in a soul-searching, atmospheric novel set in a hot, humid climate as torrid as the affairs of the characters who inhabit it.
Booklist gives COSTALEGRE a YA-reader shout out, and says, “Wounded by her mother’s inattention, infatuated with a sculptor, burdened by her femaleness, and increasingly serious about making art, Lara is extraordinarily poignant. By internalizing and then transcending her sources, Maum has created a brilliantly arch and haunting novel of privilege and deprivation.”
amNY included COSTALEGRE in their 8-book summer preview, calling it “an enthralling take on the hopes, thrills and despairs of youth.”
Assouline and Moda Operandi chose COSTALEGRE of one of their top summer fashion reads.
The culture magazine The Attic on Eighth posted a rave review of COSTALEGRE, calling it “an intoxicating swirl of 1930s surrealism, loss, art, search, and longing.”
Spencer Ruchti, the Assistant Events Manager at Harvard Book Store wrote about COSTALEGRE: "A stunning departure for Courtney Maum: COSTALEGRE is an intimate look into the lives of artists, the magnificent feuds and petty squabbles, occasional cowardice and occasional bravery when art is everything, at the expense of everything else, even human decency. In other words, this novel covers incredible ground. With talent like this, Maum can only rise higher from here."
Southern Living calls COSTALEGRE “a vividly drawn novel of family, sacrifice, and the limits of understanding” in its Best Books of Summer round-up.
Nylon Magazine says COSTALEGRE is “impactful in its spareness, and all the more evocative of the wild freedom of creation because of its restraint, like a perfectly defined Brancusi head.”
Thrillist calls COSTALEGRE an “arty, lavish novel” in its best-of summer round-up.
“A lush chronicle of wealth, art, adventure, loneliness, love, and folly told by a narrator you won't be able to forget.” -Kirkus, starred review
“A fascinating, lively, and exquisitely crafted novel.” - Publisher’s Weekly, starred review
Brown Alumni Magazine featured COSTALEGRE as a book to read by a Brown alum.
COSTALEGRE interviews 2019
The Berkshire Eagle did a lovely profile on Courtney’s trajectory as a writer and the reasons she loves living upstate. (Great pictures, too!)
A discussion with National Book Award YA winner Robin Benway and Courtney about the importance of children’s voices in historical fiction for The Rumpus.
A surrealist interview about COSTALEGRE in Nowhere Magazine by Ben Woodard.
Feature interview on “The Book Show” with Joe Donahue, aired on pub day, July 16
10 Questions for Courtney Maum with Poets & Writers (July 2019)
How do artists inspire artists in Bomb Magazine by writer Katherine Coldiron
Playing hide and seek with the Under Cover book club in Cincinnati (July, 2019)
“Seven questions, no wrong answers” with Teddy Wayne at Lit Hub. (July, 2019)
Interview with Deborah Kalb Books (July 2019)
WHAT MY MOTHER AND I DON’T TALK ABOUT’s Michele Filgate and COSTALEGRE’s Courtney Maum discuss the pressure of Mother’s Day for Lit Hub, May 2019
Selected praise for TOUCH 2017
“Exuberant...Maum’s writing is easy, eager and colloquial, as oxygenated as ad copy." - New York Times Book Review
“Irresistible. . . It’s impressive that Ms. Maum has managed to make a return to old-fashioned family values—and even commonplace acts of physical intimacy—seem daring and subversive. Maybe it will beckon a trend.” -The Wall Street Journal
"TOUCH is an interesting take on what life would be like if we just put down our phones and stepped away from the computer. Maum reminds us to not forget about those who are living and breathing right around us. Because a loving hug, tight squeeze, or simple touch is so much more fulfilling than a text." - Washington Post
"You'll never look at your devices the same way again." -Glamour, "Juicy Summer Reads" roundup
At the heart of Maum’s smart, playful, satirical novel is the clash between technology and human interaction. . . As she demonstrated so well in her previous novel, [Maum] brings astute social observations to relationships, whether workplace or romantic.” - National Book Review, "5 Hot Books" Roundup
"Maum has a lot of fun poking fun at our tech- and self-obsessed lives, but she also offers a compassionate plea for the importance of family, real human interaction and empathy." -The Miami Herald, 10 Best Books of Summer
"Sharp, witty, and provocative." -Buzzfeed, 22 Exciting New Books You Need to Read This Summer
"Maum’s writing is pensively observant, and shines a spotlight on many alarming current trends that the masses have become numb to." - Norfolk Now
"A satirical novel [that] predicts a win for Luddites. . . [TOUCH is] a hilarious workplace send-up and warm-hearted tale of a woman reconfiguring her priorities.” -O, The Oprah Magazine (May)
"Maum ultimately paints us a picture of the near future that we find desirable but difficult to articulate. Touch is a compelling argument that we should embrace the physical world, genuine human connections, and reject the technology that comes between us and other people." - The Rumpus
"One of those rare novels that approaches Big Ideas as well as it does ‘smaller,’ interpersonal ones. . . TOUCH is an immersive novel, one that carries readers along on Sloane’s difficult and sometimes painful personal journey while also encouraging them to consider their own relationship with the people and devices in their lives.” - Book Reporter
"A social commentary on our reliance on devices, TOUCH is exactly the book the world needs right now." - Summer round up, Bikini.com
"TOUCH is an immersive novel, one that carries readers along on Sloane’s difficult and sometimes painful personal journey while also encouraging them to consider their own relationship with the people and devices in their lives. It’s worth mentioning that the book can also be very funny --- walking the line between satire and realism, and introducing readers to one of the most charismatic automobiles since KITT from “Knight Rider.” - 20SomethingReads
"This is what Touch is about—how we’re moving further and further from each other, yet all we truly seek is intimacy, for someone else to know and understand us deeply, our true selves, not our avatars, or our feeds, or our digital presence." -Volume 1 Brooklyn and Pank
."..Leave it to a work of fiction—Courtney Maum’s razor-sharp Touch—to bring this vexing issue into focus with compassion and wit. . . Maum deftly manipulates [her] tantalizing setup to raise provocative questions about why so many of us seem to be happier tapping and swiping than we are in encounters with real human beings and what it might take to change that behavior. . . Whatever may happen, Touch provides an entertaining frame for what will continue to be a lively debate.” -BookPage, May
"Maum's takedown of our screen-addicted culture is funny and wise. It's perfect for vacation because it's breezy but not shallow. You can read it in a day and think, That was fun, and I feel better about the world.” -O Magazine's Leigh Haber for HGTV Magazine, May
"...but when Sloane starts to realize that perhaps her forecasting on the subject of human empathy isn't tracking to real life, she has to come to a reckoning: Does she go with the data — that people are increasingly isolated? Or does she go with her gut — and her heart?" Best Books of Summer, Refinery 29
"Maum perfectly captures the zeitgeist of our era as technology battles with humanity. Her thought-provoking, humorous book will inspire readers to forgo the electronics and get back to basics as simple as human touch.” -Library Journal, May
"Have we come to the end of penetrative sex? Is non-breeding the next big thing? Courtney Maum tackles these and other taboo questions in her provocative new page-turner. ...sweet and sexy fun." -Jason from Book Shop Santa Cruz
"A satirical but sincere look at our thirst for 'in-personism.'" -Departures Magazine, Spring Reading List, May
"...A sharp yet feeling satire, Touch bristles with insights into the longing for warm, messy, inefficient, and imperfect human life buried in our increasingly streamlined, disembodied now." -Interview Magazine, April 25
"...Maum’s incisive, charming, and funny novel ebulliently champions the healing powers of touch, the living world, and love in all its crazy risks, surprises, and sustaining radiance." -Booklist starred review, April 17
"Maum...has such a incisive grasp of where tech and culture meet that she could add sociologist to her resume." -Publisher's Weekly, in a starred review, April 2
"A really smart and funny look at the insane psychological and social costs of our era of constant connectedness.“ -Chris Hayes, from NY Times' "By The Book," March 19
"Our modern world is at once hyper-connected and hyper-alienating, and in this magical/terrible time, Courtney Maum's latest novel offers us a balm, a solution, a call to action, or, at the very least, time away from our smartphones to read a compelling, perceptive, and moving story about the state of human intimacy and love in our contemporary era. Touch is at once wry and sincere, funny and serious, and you won't be able to put it down.” –Edan Lepucki, bestselling author of CALIFORNIA
“What begins as a satirical romp through the fields of trend forecasting and technology in Courtney Maum’s Touch deepens into a trenchant and wise portrait of what it means to be fully human at a time when the culture is trying its hardest to make us only partially so.” –Teddy Wayne, author of LONER and THE LOVE SONG OF JOHNNY VALENTINE
"Touch is so smart that even its comic absurdities quiver with wisdom, as an anti-mom and a neo-sensualist confirm our suspicion that the lives of trendsetters aren't quite what they appear to be. Maum's writing is sharp and complex—prepare to be touched by this novel in ways you might not expect." –Elizabeth McKenzie, National Book Award Finalist for THE PORTABLE VEBLEN
“With her impeccable prose and laser-sharp wit, the profligately talented Courtney Maum has delivered a timely and necessary defense of human intimacy. You'll want to hold it close.” –Henry Alford, humorist and author of WOULD IT KILL YOU TO STOP DOING THAT?
Interviews about TOUCH 2017 - 2020
The professional cuddlers at Nordic Cuddle interview Courtney about all things hugging, August 2020
Talking all things touch and whether spontaneous touch can still exist in America on The Lit Up Podcast, March 2019
Designer Colleen Reinhart on the re-design of TOUCH in LitHub, August 2018
"Moms Don't Have Time to Read" podcast with Zibby Owens, June, 2018
"Horny for Your Attention" on the BrandHole podcast, November, 2017
Answering #Belletrist reader questions live from Facebook in NYC with fellow author Tim Manley and producer, Karah Preiss, July, 2017
Part time author, part time namer: What it's like to name cosmetics with GirlBoss
"How to look well-rested when you haven't rested at all," Makeup tips with Jane Iredale cosmetics
On good habits (and bad ones!) with happiness guru, Gretchen Rubin.
9 Questions with Courtney Maum, for Vox, July 2017
Irony and Satire on the DIY MFA podcast, July 2017
WCBS "Author Talks" interview with Pat Farnack, July 2017
What the fuck is a beach read anyway? for Electric Literature, July 2017
"Behind the scenes of Trend Forecasting" an interview with Courtney Maum and Yahoo, June 2017
Novelist Courtney Maum satirizes the tech world" an interview with The Stranger, June 2017
"The Art of Looking into the Future" with Vincent Scarpa from Electric Literature, June 2017
"The End of Touch" with book critic, Ben Woodard from The Millions, May 2017
"Digital Meltdown" with Steph Opitz for Marie Claire, May 2017
"Open Book" with the Berkshire Eagle, May 2017
"On Writing: An interview with Courtney Maum" Berkshire Edge, June 2017
A podcast with fellow namer Caitlin Barrett about branding and verbal strategy on The Brandhole "Breakthroughs" episode, May 2017
Audiobooks, the power of female instinct, and the industry of trend forecasting Q&A with Deborah Kalb, May 2017
A playlist for TOUCH with anecdotes about the song selections for Largehearted Boy, May 2017
What is Courtney Maum reading? Campaign for the American, May 2017
An interview with Courtney about humor writing at Catapult October, 2016
Joe Donahue interviews Courtney Maum on WAMC’s the Round Table, 2015
Selected Press For I AM HAVING SO MUCH FUN HERE WITHOUT YOU
WASHINGTON POST: “Here we have the literary beach read — a book that pleases people who read two books a month and people who read two books a year. . . . [Maum] is abundantly gifted — funny, open-hearted, adept at bringing global issues into the personal sphere . . . eventually creating that rare thing: a book for everyone.”
NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW: “Maum is funny: the kind of funny that is mean and dirty, with some good bad words thrown in. And she has a satiric eye for artsy pretension. . . . Enticing.”
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: “Funny and soulful . . . Filled with wise and revealing insights about the mature rewards embattled marriages provide. . . . [An] immensely appealing novel.”
"A charming and engrossing portrait of one man's midlife mess . . . Smart, fast-paced . . . You come for the plot, but you stay for the characters—especially Maum's flawed but likable and basically well-intentioned hero. Ultimately, this is the story of a man who would do anything to be a better person, and you will avidly wish for him to succeed."
REAL SIMPLE: “Deftly exploring the daily challenges of marriage…this book provided me with a powerful reminder to appreciate my partner and the life that we’ve built together.” (Real Simple, Best Book of 2014)
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY starred review: “An honest, staggeringly realized journey . . . Equally funny and touching, the novel strikes deep, presenting a sincere exploration of love and monogamy. These characters are complex, and their story reflects their confusion and desire. . . . An impressive, smart novel.”
GLAMOUR: “Courtney Maum bursts onto the scene with a hilarious and wise novel. . . . Richard Haddon is one of the more lovable male characters we've encountered this season. . . . You'll find yourself agog at Maum's masterful storytelling and dead-on descriptions.” (Glamour Magazine Best Books of Summer)
MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE: “Maum’s raw honesty about the hard work of long-term relationships, what is said and left unsaid, and her intimate knowledge of Paris make this a bittersweet yet comical read.” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune 5 novels you must read right now)
"Antic, sexy, satirically deft, and of course funny, this novel is also, on both the personal and political levels, smart about the bottomlessness of our capacities for self-sabotage, and moving about the fierceness of our yearning to make good." (Jim Shepard, author of You Think That's Bad and Like You'd Understand, Anyway)
See the book trailer for I AM HAVING SO MUCH FUN HERE WITHOUT YOU