It took a mere seven years to write.
I remember the first time I met with my agent, who’d read a story I’d written for Esquire and was interested in selling the book. I told her, “I’m very fast—I’ll have something for you within the next two months.”
Not so much. Turns out when you’re writing about the people who raised you—and the story is unfolding as you write—you have to calculate a few extra years for emotional paralysis, intensive therapy, and the occasional pill-fueled breakdown. But all that is behind me, now…and look what I have—a book! One that has just been nominated for a 2010 Eisner Award in the “Best Reality-Based Work” category. (It is a work of nonfiction, but some names and details have been changed.)
Praise for The Impostor’s Daughter: A True Memoir
“The Impostor’s Daughter is funny, frank, and absolutely engaging. It’s about truth and consequences and families and men and women and fame and, well, life itself. It’s wonderful.” (Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief)
“The Impostor’s Daughter is the mesmerizing account of Laurie Sandell’s hunt for the truth about her father. Maybe he’s a con man, possibly he’s delusional, but to Laurie he’s a larger-than-life figure-the most adventurous father in the world. Compellingly told and wonderfully drawn, The Impostor’s Daughter is also the story of Laurie’s personal struggle with pop-culture’s zeitgeist trifecta: sex, celebrity, and substance abuse. It’s a stirring debut.” (Nathan Englander, author of The Ministry of Special Cases and For the Relief of Unbearable Urges)
“A stunner. From the opening page of Laurie Sandell’s illustrated memoir, I was hooked. This coming of age tale for grownups may be a feast for the eyes, but it’s also a sock in the gut-a wrenchingly funny tale of deception, addiction, and what it means to search for true love when you were raised on lies. You’ll finish this page-turner in a single night-but the story will stay with you for much longer.” (Carole Radziwill, author of What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship and Love)
“Don’t pick up The Impostor’s Daughter if you have an urgent looming deadline. You’ll start reading and then keep reading till you reach the last page, because this real-life detective story is so compelling, personal, and poignant that you’ll end up ignoring your own life and responsibilities. Like I did.” (A.J. Jacobs, author of The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically)