Laura Zigman

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Laura Zigman is an American novelist and freelance journalist who lives outside Boston, Massachusetts. She is the author of the novels Animal Husbandry, Dating Big Bird,[1] Her, Piece of Work, Separation Anxiety, and Small World.[2] She is co-author with professional matchmaker Patti Novak of the self-help book Get Over Yourself: How to Get Real, Get Serious, and Get Ready to Find True Love.


Zigman grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, and graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She worked for ten years in New York City as a publicist for Times Books, Vintage Books, Turtle Bay Books, Atlantic Monthly Press, and Alfred A. Knopf, before moving to Washington, D.C., and beginning a career as a writer.[3] Her first novel was Animal Husbandry (1998), which was made into the 2001 romantic comedy Someone Like You, starring Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman.[4] Her 2006 novel Piece of Work (described in USA Today as "one part pleasant, one part unoriginal") was optioned for a movie screenplay by Tom Hanks's Playtone.[5]

In about 2006 after her second, third, and fourth novels (unlike her highly successful first novel) "tanked" and Zigman moved from Washington to the Boston area, where she was battling breast cancer and caring for her son and her two dying parents, Zigman "pivoted" from writing her own novels to working as a ghostwriter. Books on which she collaborated included British comedian and actor Eddie Izzard's 2017 autobiography Believe Me and Texas politician Wendy Davis's 2014 memoir Forgetting to be Afraid. Ghostwriting enabled Zigman to make a living, but with it, she complained in 2020, "you lose your voice." Zigman later resumed writing her own novels; she wrote her fifth, Separation Anxiety, which was published in 2020, over three-and-a-half years "in between ghostwriting projects."[2][6]

She is often described as a writer of chick lit, and described herself as "heartbroken, urban, single, postfeminist", which prompted her to write so other people would know that "I am not the only loser in the world who feels lonely".[7] Her books have been characterized as breezy,[5] clever, engaging and naughty, with reviewers comparing her style to that of novelists Olivia Goldsmith and Fay Weldon.[8] In addition to writing novels and non-fiction books, she is an irregular contributor to The New York Times and The Huffington Post, and creator of a series of Xtranormal videoclips, which she publishes on her blog.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Zigman battled breast cancer in 2006-2007. She is married and has a son, and lives with her family in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[2][10][11]



  • Animal Husbandry (1997)
  • Dating Big Bird (1999)
  • Her (2003)
  • Piece of Work (2006)
  • Separation Anxiety (2020)
  • Small World (2023)


  • Patti Novak and Laura Zigman, Get Over Yourself!: How to Get Real, Get Serious, and Get Ready to Find True Love (2008)
  • Eddie Izzard with Laura Zigman, Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens (2017)

Selected Articles[edit]


  1. ^ Gest, Emily (16 April 2000). "Biological Clock Watching: Laura Zigman delivers mixed results with a comic novel on dating". Daily News. Retrieved 10 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Szegedy-Maszak, Marianne (May 3, 2020). "She Was the Toast of Chick Lit 20 Years Ago. Then Her Creativity Dried Up. How Laura Zigman got her groove back". Mother Jones. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  3. ^ Marcus, Erica (1 February 1998). "Talking with Laura Zigman: Cows get dumped, too". Newsday. p. B11. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2012.
  4. ^ "Someone lacks emotional bite". Daily News. 29 March 2001. p. 2B. Retrieved 10 March 2012.
  5. ^ a b Rhule, Patty (18 October 2006). "'Piece of Work' is one part pleasant, one part unoriginal –". USA Today. Retrieved 10 March 2012.
  6. ^ "hire me". Laura Zigman. Retrieved 24 April 2023.
  7. ^ Smith, Caroline J. (2007). Cosmopolitan culture and consumerism in chick lit. New Jersey: Routledge. ISBN 978-0415806268.
  8. ^ Lesher, Linda Parent (2000). The best novels of the nineties: a reader's guide. Mcfarland & Co Inc Publishing. p. 370. ISBN 0786407425.
  9. ^ Franco, Vene (5 March 2012). "Food Media Roundup, 3/5/12: Lucky Peach #3, Alton Brown does party food, Cook's Illustrated recipes make our head explode". Creative Loafing. Retrieved 10 March 2012.
  10. ^ Zigman, L. (2012) "Life Story"
  11. ^ "Bio". Laura Zigman. Retrieved 24 April 2023.

External links[edit]