Cornelia Read
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About Me:
I have circumnavigated the globe and thrown up in many of the world's airports. I was born in Manhattan, and spent my childhood racketing around from New York to California to Oahu.

I have thirteen-year-old twin girls, the younger of whom has autism. I am the world's worst housewife, nicknamed by my spouse "a lighting rod for entropy in the universe." I have recently taken to calling him "my first husband."

I like to read a lot, being especially fond of the backs of cereal boxes and badly garbled assembly instructions written by persons for whom English is not the language of choice (although my all-time favorite bit of writing was contained in the song list on a bootleg Dylan tape in Hong Kong, which claimed "Bowling in the Wind" was the first cut on side A).

For the last several generations, my family's motto has been "Never a Dull Moment." None of us know how you would say this in Latin.

I subscribe to my sister's gustatory philosophy, which is that "there are two kinds of food in the world: food that's good, and food that needs more salt."

I am currently an Edgar nominee in the best first novel category. It is kind of nice not knowing how that's going to turn out in the end. My first novel is A Field of Darkness. It has been called both "a venomously witty portrait of a fallen WASP" and "absolute bollocks," though not by the same publication.

My two favorite songs are Patsy Cline's "Sweet Dreams" and that little bit of Bach that Glenn Gould plays right when the Tralfamadorians are coming out of the stars to kidnap Billy Pilgrim and his old dog Spot in the movie version of Slaughterhouse Five. The Rolling Stones doing "King Bee" get an honorable mention.

I would like to be Winston Churchill when I grow up.


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Cornelia Read's Blog

A Shot in the Dark

By Cornelia Read

There's a topic I've wanted to blog about here for a long time, but it's pretty heavy stuff--not exactly the bright and breezy fare most people want to skim through online while sipping their morning beverage of… Continue

Posted on March 27, 2008 at 4:36pm — 2 Comments

So, You Want to Write Noir...

By Cornelia

Does anyone remember now whether it was Fran Liebowitz or Nora Ephron who wrote the great series of quizzes with titles such as, "So, You Want to Be the Queen of England..."

and "So, You Want to Be the Pope..." (My friends call me: a)Sparky b)Bubba c)Supreme Pontiff)



Posted on December 27, 2007 at 10:44am — 1 Comment

Soylent Green is Literary Fiction!

By Cornelia

So I hope you'll bear with me while I rehash the whole Genre vs. Literary thing for the bazillionth time, here. It's for a good cause, that being celebration of Doris Lessing's having won the Nobel prize for Literature--the announcement of which put the hugest smile on my face for days:

While it seemed to have made… Continue

Posted on October 18, 2007 at 9:26am — 2 Comments

Woke up, Got out of Bed, Dragged a Comb Across my Head...

By Cornelia

I couldn't think of anything even barely approaching wit or profundity this morning, and as it's getting on in time here without inspiration, I thought I'd share a typical day's schedule of life here at the Chateau Ultra-Trashy.

4:17 a.m. Lila, who fell asleep in my bed the night before, wakes up and starts laughing in the dark for no…

Posted on August 30, 2007 at 8:33am — 1 Comment


By Cornelia

A lot of girls who grew up to write mysteries first got hooked on the genre because they loved reading Nancy Drew as children. Nancy held no interest for me. I figured her friend George was entirely too latent, and Bess was just inane. Nancy's beau whatshisface was, meanwhile, a huge drag and lacking even the most slender iota of testosterone. Not… Continue

Posted on August 17, 2007 at 7:05am

Comment Wall (32 comments)

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At 11:30am on March 24, 2008, L.J. Sellers said…
That's means you written something powerful.
That's what I tell myself about THE SEX CLUB, which
is also a love it or hate it story. Beats the heck out being "okay."
At 10:47am on March 24, 2008, L.J. Sellers said…
Hi Cornelia
I just wanted to introduce myself because I've heard such great things about your work. I'm looking forward to reading The Crazy School. The DLs seem to love it.
At 11:43am on December 31, 2007, Brian Thornton said…
Great to hear from you, Cornelia, thanks for making me a friend, and what a terrific Dead Kennedys video! I'm still looking for a decent one of "Too Drunk To F*ck." Also, a close Latin translation for "Never A Dull Moment" would read something like this: "Nunquam Minuta Plumbeus." Happy New Year!
At 10:34am on November 26, 2007, David L. Hoof said…
Finished A Field of Darkness under A Field of Light (SAD light, 30 min daily). It has marvelous strengths and some weaknesses. As I taught creative writing at Georgetown University and put nine students into novels, books, production in theater and movies, you might want to get my impressions. Or not. Up to you. Generally there are two kinds of readers who will start and stay with a story: those who take time and those who make time. In the first set there are those who pick up the book when an opportunity presents. These are less likely to finish than those who make time, who have a specific time during their daily routine for reading and stay with it. In the age of X box both are rare, but still persistent enough to keep you in print. Let me know if you'd like some insights. I note much of Shakespeare's approach in A Field, whether you realized it or not. You could do worse.

At 7:21am on October 6, 2007, Barbara Fister said…
Hi - really looking forward to the Crazy School. I loved your voice in Field of Darkness. Totally won me over though I generally Have Issues with wealthy, clever deb types.
At 8:26am on September 10, 2007, Bruce Grossman said…
Cornelia did that musical error in the book get fixed for the paperback.
At 7:32am on August 17, 2007, Bethany K. Warner said…
Send me a message and I'll get you in my author interview line up. Thanks!
At 7:18am on August 17, 2007, carole gill said…
Hi, pleasure! how are you?
At 3:47am on August 13, 2007, David L. Hoof said…
Is there a cyberspace equivalent of a black hole? If so, my last comments to you are either forever gone or hovering at the event horizon, waiting to be sucked in. Let me try again. Prompted by the Edgar nod and the neat ad in Mystery Scene, I've ordered an hc (hard copy) of A Field of Darkness, and will probably recommend it to my former writing students at Georgetown.
All The Best,

At 8:19am on August 12, 2007, Janet Reid said…
Thanks for the invite. Kristen Weber told me about Field of Darkness several years back, said you were a really good writer. As usual, she's right!

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