Praise for The Paper Wasp
“Utterly bizarre and completely bewitching, this twisted, delicious tale will grab you from the first page and hurl you over the edge.” -Kirkus Reviews
“An unsettling and surreal excavation of the boundless depths of the human psyche…a piercing, disquieting novel.” -Publishers Weekly
“Penny-bright, heartfelt, and compulsively readable.”-Library Journal
“It seems at first a novel of friendship between women—a rich vein for any writer—but in The Paper Wasp, Lauren Acampora upends convention, creating an unsettling (and impossible to put down) story about art and ambition, fame and power.” —Rumaan Alam, author of That Kind of Mother
“A lyrical, provocative, imaginative page turner that makes the world feel new again, The Paper Wasp is both a stunning portrait of a fixated woman and an addictive, modern commentary on an eternal theme of obsession. In her glittering, goosebump-inducing prose, Lauren Acampora gives us a soul trip/head trip/rarefied LA trip replete with surrealism and social commentary.”—Caroline Kepnes, author of You
“The Paper Wasp is a crazy joy ride of a novel; a bold and joyous take on female friendship, outsider ambition and the secret powers of loners. It gives us a heroine who is selfish, weird, and manipulative, and makes us root for her with all our selfish, weird, and manipulative hearts. I loved every second of it.”—Sandra Newman, author of The Heavens
“Acampora is an exquisite stylist who misses no shade or psychological texture and who also plumbs depths of feeling in note-perfect prose that leaves one stunned at the artistry on display. The Paper Wasp is a powerful statement of aesthetic purpose, and an unalloyed triumph.”—Matthew Thomas, author of We Are Not Ourselves
Praise for The Wonder Garden
"I thought of [Edith] Wharton when reading Lauren Acampora's stylish debut..." -Alix Ohlin, New York Times Book Review
"Acampora's ability to lay bare the heartaches of complex individuals within an utterly unique imaginative world is worthy of high praise." - Priscilla Gilman, The Boston Globe
"In 13 sharply drawn linked stories, Acampora reveals the complexities beneath the polish and privilege of a prosperous Connecticut town." - People Magazine
"...well-drawn characters, interesting plots, cultural zingers and dead-on critiques of consumerism...Acampora delivers a page-turner." - Martha Sheridan, The Dallas Morning News
"A wonderful debut by a striking talent." -Chris Schluep, Amazon.com
"This debut demands to be savored. Editor's recommendation." -Barnes & Noble
"A smashing debut, with range, subtlety and bite. Reading Acampora, we're In Cheever country, with hints of Flannery O'Connor." -Jane Ciabattari, BBC
"The Wonder Garden...carries a razor-sharp edge of dark satire and lands Acampora firmly on my list of writers to watch." - Poornima Apte, Book Browse
"[Acampora's] well-plotted, incisive and beautifully written fiction will encourage all of us to think about how our lives intersect with our neighbors', like it or not." - Nora Piehl, Book Reporter
"Prose...nothing short of masterful." - Christopher Schultz, Lit Reactor
"A magnificent debut." - David Gutowski, Largehearted Boy
"A smartly written and satisfying collection." - Zack Ravas, ZYZZYVA
"Intelligent, unnerving, and very often strange." -Publishers Weekly (starred, boxed review)
"Spooky and fabulous... A clear-eyed lens into the strange, human wants of upper-class suburbia." -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Acampora wields prose with the precision of a scalpel . . . [She] brilliantly captures the heartaches and delusions of American suburbanites.” -Booklist (starred review)
"The stories in Acampora's first collection are so vivid, tightly plotted, and expertly woven that they make you look forward to reading more by this accomplished author." -Library Journal (starred review)
"The world depicted in Lauren Acampora’s stories seems reassuringly familiar, until it becomes unaccountably strange and unsettling. One moment we seem to be in Cheever’s Westchester, the next we plunge through the looking glass into realms that may remind some readers of George Saunders or Robert Coover or the David Lynch of Blue Velvet, though, inevitably, all resemblances prove to be superficial. Acampora is an original and The Wonder Garden is an outstanding debut."
- Jay McInerney, Bright Lights, Big City and How It Ended
"A dark and brilliant collection of stories. Lauren Acampora is a terrific writer."
- Joseph O'Neill, Netherland and The Dog
"Here in the suburb of Old Cranbury, where the lawns are carefully tended and life is coated with a veneer of normalcy, Lauren Acampora shines a bright light on the mysteries of human emotions. These perceptive, riveting stories give us the opportunity to explore the hidden tumult of a prosperous community and to discover its dramatic secrets."
- Joanna Scott, De Potter’s Grand Tour
"Like the famous opening scene in Blue Velvet, Lauren Acampora's The Wonder Garden pulls us under the surface of that most carefully tended American garden, the prosperous suburb, to lay bare its dark underbelly. The Wonder Garden is wondrous, and its stories are addictive. I dreaded coming to the end."
- Susan Choi, My Education
"The Wonder Garden is a beautiful book: witty, intelligent, deeply compassionate, and gorgeously crafted. Lauren Acampora is uncannily skilled at chronicling the emotional lives of her characters with the same razor-sharp precision as she does the suburban landscape that surrounds them. I can't stop thinking about these stories."
- Molly Antopol, The UnAmericans
"Acampora's linked stories about one Connecticut town vividly explore dark interiors as well as polished facades. The Wonder Garden is an elegant construction and a chronicle of the surprising ways in which suburban lives intersect. Lauren Acampora is a writer of extraordinary dexterity."
- Elliott Holt, You Are One of Them
"I loved The Wonder Garden. Acampora's writing moves like a laser through her characters' souls, finding the deepest, darkest truths and delusions. Every story surprises. Every story is devastating. Like Mad Men set in the present day, but better."
- Heidi Pitlor, The Daylight Marriage