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Laura Moriarty

Author of the New York Times bestseller The Chaperone

  • About Laura Moriarty

    Laura Moriarty is the author of The Center of Everything, The Rest of Her Life, and While I’m Falling. Her most recent novel The Chaperone, inspired by the real life silent film star Louise Brooks, was published by Riverhead Books in June 2012. The novel was named USA Today’s #1 Fiction Pick, the Christian Science Monitor #1 Fiction Pick and a Top Indie Next Pick for June 2012 and was given rave reviews by publications nationwide. Moriarty was the recipient of the George Bennett Fellowship for Creative Writing at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, and is now a professor of Creative Writing at the University of Kansas. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

  • Praise for Laura Moriarty

    Praise for The Chaperone

    Captivating and wise . . . In The Chaperone, Moriarty gives us a historically detailed and nuanced portrayal of the social upheaval that spilled into every corner of American life by 1922. . . . [An] inventive and lovely Jazz Age story.

    The Washington Post

    When silent film star Louise Brooks was a sexually provocative and headstrong 15-year-old from Kansas, she traveled with a chaperone to new York City to attend dance school. In this fascinating historical novel, her minder, Cora, struggles to keep her charge within the bounds of propriety but finds herself questioning the confines of her own life. Thorough Cora the world of early 20th-century America comes alive, and her personal triumphs become cause for celebration.


    Throughout The Chaperone, her fourth and best novel, Laura Moriarty mines first-rate fiction from the tension between a corrupting coastal media and the ideal of heart-of-America morality. . . . . Brooks’s may be the novel’s marquee name, but the story’s heart is Cora’s. With much sharpness but great empathy, Moriarty lays bare the settled mindset of this stolid, somewhat fearful woman—and the new experiences that shake that mindset up.

    San Francisco Weekly

    With her shiny black bob and milky skin, Louise Brooks epitomized silent-film glamour. But in Laura Moriarty’s engaging new novel The Chaperone, Brooks is just a hyper-precocious and bratty 15-year-old, and our protagonist, 36-year-old Cora Carlisle, has the not-easy mission of keeping the teenager virtuous while on a trip from their native Kansas to New York City. After a battle of wills, there’s a sudden change of destiny for both women, with surprising and poignant results.

    Entertainment Weekly

    In her new novel, The Chaperone, Laura Moriarty treats this golden age with an evocative look at the early life of silent-film icon Louise Brooks, who in 1922 leaves Wichita, Kansas, for New York City in the company of 36-year-old chaperone, Cora Carlisle. . . . A mesmerizing take on women in this pivotal era.

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