Laura Zigman is one of our leading voices in contemporary fiction. She’s the author of five novels, including her genre-defining debut, Animal Husbandry, which enjoyed a second life on the screen as the Hugh Jackman/Ashley Judd starrer “Someone Like You,” as well as her most recent novel, Separation Anxiety, which is currently being developed as a limited television series featuring the actress Julianne Nicholson.
Laura’s novels are known for their wit and insight, as she shines compelling light on women and families on the edge, but many of her most faithful readers are probably unaware of her work as a collaborator—most notably with the comedian Eddie Izzard, Texas state senator Wendy Davis, and matchmaker Patti Novak.
Over the years, she’s leaned on her ghostwriting assignments as a way to fill the spaces between novels—and, to sharpen her instincts as a writer as she seeks ideas and inspiration for her fiction. In this episode of As Told To, she tells host Daniel Paisner that she sees herself as storyteller, whether she’s helping to craft someone else’s story or working in service of her own.
“It’s a very delicate dance,” she says of the tug-and-pull that often surfaces between collaborator and subject. “You have to learn how to handle people. You have to give it back to them sometimes. You have to find that balance between being in service to them and their story and pushing back a little.”
Here’s where you can find Laura online: