Five Questions About Edgar Allan Poe: Laura Lippman

Laura Lippman is the creator of the popular, award-winning Tess Monaghan novel series. Laura was a reported for many years at the Baltimore Sun, following on from her father, respected Sun journalist, Theo Lippman. Jr. Her latest book is a collection of short stories entitled Hardly Knew Her. Laura also recently contributed to the Poe anthology, In the Shadow of the Master: Classic Tales by Edgar Allan Poe and Essays. edited by Michael Connelly.

Laura Lippman is today’s Re:Print Special Guest, here to answer another Five Questions About Edgar Allan Poe.

Describe your first Poe experience.

I think it was in a Classic Comic! The Gold Bug. But it got me to look up the real thing.

What would you consider Poe’s greatest work, and why?

That’s tough because I haven’t read everything. But while I owe my career to his fiction, if I had to read just one facet of Poe’s work, it would probably be his poetry. It’s quite beautiful.

Hardly Knew Her

Author: Laura Lippman


October 2008, 304 pages, $23.95

How has Poe’s work shaped you as a reader/writer?

All crime writers owe Poe a debt. Granted, if he hadn’t “invented” the modern-day detective story, perhaps someone else would have. But he did, and every mystery writer follows in his footsteps.

Which of your own works owes the largest debt to Poe and why?

Easy as A-B-C is an out and out homage to Poe, a modern-day version of The Cask of Amontillado.

If you were hosting the celebrations for Poe’s big day, how would have your guests celebrate?

I would cancel the party and ask my guests to make a donations to a nonprofit that supports the arts and young writers. Poe struggled so to make a living. Those writers who really want to honor his memory should make sure they are helping other writers. On Poe’s birthday, in fact, I’ll be teaching at a writers workshop.

Laura Lippman is online here.