Owner, Books are Magic
Jul 13, 2021
If a bookstore in your neighborhood closed down, chances are you’d mourn a little and move on with your life. That’s not how Emma Straub rolls. When her beloved Book Court—a Cobble Hill institution—shut down in 2016, she had a choice to make: “This sounds absolutely bonkers because it is: We could either open a bookstore or we could move to be closer to a different bookstore,” she says. And so she and her husband Michael opened Books are Magic, which itself has become a neighborhood beacon.
In addition to selling other people’s books, Straub writes her own; she is The New York Times-bestselling author of four compulsively readable novels and a short story collection. Her books include “Modern Lovers” (set in Ditmas Park), “The Vacationers,” “Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures” and “Other People We Married.” Straub’s latest, “All Adults Here,” is newly out in paperback, a year after its release in the early months of the pandemic. It tells the story of three generations of the Strick family, all of whom have little secrets they’ve been keeping from each other.
In conversation Straub is as charming, easygoing and accessible as her writing—and like her writing she can be sly and wry and almost sneakily profound. Next up? “I started something new in October which was all of a sudden a book about time travel and a 40- year-old woman with a dying father,” she tells Brooklyn Magazine. “It’s strange to say I’ve written a book about time travel and it’s my most autobiographical book yet. And yet it’s true.”