Elizabeth Little


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Elizabeth Little was born and raised in St. Louis and graduated from Harvard University. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications, and she has been featured on All Things Considered, The World, and Here and Now.

She has written two works of nonfiction: Biting the Wax Tadpole: Confessions of a Language Fanatic and Trip of the Tongue: Cross-Country Travels in Search of America's Languages.

Dear Daughter, her debut novel, was a Los Angeles Times bestseller and has been published worldwide. Her next novel, Dissolve, will be published in 2019.

Elizabeth lives in Los Angeles with her family.

Average rating: 3.43 · 11,205 ratings · 1,437 reviews · 8 distinct worksSimilar authors
Dear Daughter

3.44 avg rating — 12,868 ratings — published 2014 — 28 editions
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Confessions d'une fanatique...

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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Trip of the Tongue: Cross-C...

3.38 avg rating — 181 ratings — published 2012 — 3 editions
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Follow Me

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Héroïnes

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3.59 avg rating — 59 ratings
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'Til Eternity

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4.21 avg rating — 33 ratings — published 2010 — 3 editions
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The Judging (The Corescu Ch...

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3.68 avg rating — 95 ratings — published 2010 — 6 editions
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Damascus Road (The Corescu ...

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4.61 avg rating — 23 ratings — published 2011 — 6 editions
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Donald J. Trump: First 100 ...

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“Do you ever think about it? About nothingness. I do, I think about it all the time. Because of course it’s nothingness that awaits us. Of course it is. If it weren’t why would our hearts keep pumping any longer than they had to? Why wouldn’t we all emerge into the world pure and innocent, and then before we had a chance to get in any trouble, before we had a chance to take our first oily shit, just immediately shut down our systems and head straight to the hereafter? If there were a better life after death, why bother getting fitter for survival’s sake? Why would evolution even be a thing? Why fight for something second best? If death was really awesome, in a life or death situation, our bodies wouldn’t muscle up with epinephrine and cortisol. Our brains would hit us up instead with sloppy, sleepy happy love. Hannibal Lecter would be our Mickey Mouse. No, there’s fuckall to look forward to. Our bodies understand this. The real problem is, it’s unbearable to know this. So we cope.”
Elizabeth Little

“There are three ways to approach secrets, you know. The first is what you find on soap operas and in poorly executed middle-school maneuvers. First, you uncover a piece of incriminating information, and then you use it to force a steady stream of favors or payment or behavior. The problem here is that, if extended indefinitely, the expected cost of compliance eventually outweighs the cost of exposure. Moreover, the probability that you'll lose your monopoly of your information increases with each passing day. Never, ever assume that you're only person digging for dirt, especially in Los Angeles. Vipers are measured by the pitful for a reason.

The second approach is more effective: You make one, single very carefully chosen demand. And you give your mark just one chance. This was my usual MO. If this mark doesn't do as you ask, when you ask, you leak their secret. No excuses. No mercy. Brutal consistency is the key to credibility. Mothers, dog trainers, Israel -- you know what I'm talking about.

But there's also a radical third approach: You reveal that you know the secret...and they you keep it under wraps. Do that, and they're not just going to tell you other secrets, they might even keep yours in return. And they'll think they're doing of their own free will when what you've really done is painstakingly aligned your incentives. That's all trust is, really. Some people are just incentivized by nature.”
Elizabeth Little, Dear Daughter

“Everyone has some idea about what separates us from every other animal, about what makes us humans so fucking special. God, language, cheese, that sort of thing. But you might not have heard of this one: What makes us different is the fact that we'll voluntarily step into a locked cage with a predator.”
Elizabeth Little, Dear Daughter

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