abigailthomas_jacketAbigail Thomas has a new memoir “What Comes Next and How to Like It,” to be published  March 24, 2015 by Scribner.

“What Comes Next and How to Like It is a beautifully felt, deeply moving memoir, the best work yet by a woman who has already done some of the best work in the field. It’s about friendship, and the shocks friendship can endure when it’s true and deep. It’s about the rueful pleasures (not to mention the jarring pitfalls) of getting old. It’s about enduring tragedy, sickness, and loss. Thomas speaks of these big things by scattering the ordinary jewelry of everyday life: loving dogs (even when they chew your most precious possessions), Googling old boyfriends, rescuing an orphan mouse, and trees that try to grow in the crack between boards. Small speaks for large here, in a calm voice that talks to the mind while it fills the heart. Abigail Thomas is the Emily Dickinson of memoirists, and so much of this book’s wisdom is between the lines and in the white spaces. It may only take you two days to read, but the impact will stay with you for a long, long time. Abigail Thomas fills memory with living breath.”
Stephen King

“This may be the most honest book I’ve ever read, by one of the most beautiful writers I know– dizzyingly truthful, often funny, lyrical, wise.”
Anne Lamott

Preorder What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir  directly from Scribner or choose the “INDIE BOUND” link to support your local bookstore!


Thomas’s  tiny book Two Pages contains prompts for two-page exercises that Abigail Thomas, author of fiction and memoirs, assigned in writing workshops. They were compiled by her students. Use them if you need a side door into work that is too daunting to enter from the front. Use them to write something absurd or profound or to surprise yourself. Don’t worry if what you write turns out to be a little less or a lot more than two pages. That would be missing the point. Purchase Two Pages.



A Three Dog Life is, I think, the best memoir I have ever read.  It’s sad, terrifying, and scorchingly honest.  It’s also a testament to the power of love, suggesting that even when love isn’t enough…somehow, it is.  This book is a punch to the heart.  Read it.”
—Stephen King

“Abigail Thomas navigates a life redefined by ambiguous loss—a beloved husband who ‘is there and not there.’  She makes sense of mangled senses where a new logic is encoded; she lets mystery stand where translation is not possible.  Her many gifts as a writer and deeply generous person show us what is possible when two brave people examine a reconfigured life—one that conjures the uncanny, spotlights the power of art, and amplifies the meaning and reach of love.”
—Amy Hempel

Purchase A Three Dog Life







A beautifully crafted and inviting account of one woman’s life, Safekeeping offers a sublimely different kind of autobiography. Setting aside a straightforward narrative in favor of brief passages of vivid prose, Thomas revisits the pivotal moments and tiny incidents that have shaped her: pregnancy at 18, single motherhood of three by the age of 26, the joys and frustrations of her marriages, and the death of her second husband. With startling clarity and unwavering composure, Thomas tells stories made of mistakes and loyalties, adventures and domesticities, of experiences both deeply personal and universal.

This is a book in which silence speaks as eloquently as what is revealed. Openhearted and effortlessly funny, these brilliantly selected glimpses of the arc of life are, in an age of too much confusion, a welcome topic.
(from the Book jacket)

“Razor-sharp pieces of radiant truth…Not so much memoir as a stained-glass window of scenes garnered from a life. This is an unforgettable portrait of a grown-up woman who has learned to rejoice in being herself. Reading it, we feel the crazy beauty of life.”
—Anne Lamott

Safekeeping is a sapphire…pointy, gleaming, in the end, blue…You know a form is right when, in the end, you can’t imagine a story told any other way. Abigail Thomas walks the edge of the form’s boundaries; her stories are haunted by adjectives.”
—Los Angeles Times Book Review

Purchase Safekeeping: Some True Stories from a Life


actual-life-coverAN ACTUAL LIFE
It’s the summer of 1960. The baby is almost a year old when her painfully young parents take up vacation residence in Great Aunt Dot’s tiny house in New Jersey. Buddy will go to summer school and paint houses. Virginia will take care of the baby. The thing is, Buddy is almost never at home, and there are indications that he is still “seeing” his old girlfriend Irene, now married to Chick, his former best friend.

Virginia and Buddy had to get married. Little Madeline was conceived the first time they did it in Buddy’s room at college, and Virginia’s college asked her to leave when they found out. Her family put on a reluctant little wedding. And now?

Well, as Virginia puts it, “Now that we know each other a little better it turns out we are actually strangers.” Adorable Virginia…she’s very much an actual person. And this is the story of her actual life.
(from the Book jacket)

Purchase An Actual Life



Welcome to the delightful array of smart and sassy women who valiantly—and hilariously—struggle with the eternal battle of the sexes in this gutsy collection of stories.

Child brides, misguided newlyweds, and lusty middle-aged grandmothers are just a few of the characters Abigail Thomas brings to life in these wise and witty stores about women of all ages trying to deal with love for men, with their families, and with their own lot in life. Thomas presents interesting heroines: there’s the girl in “Sisters” who hates her younger sibling for (among other things) her precise memory. In “Seeing Things,” Maude, who “wants to be tan the whole year round,” and whose “great ambition is to be whistled at on the street,” is told by her younger sister, “You look ridiculous smoking with the chicken pox.” And then there are the four stories about Buddy and Virginia, who have to drop out of school and get married after she gets pregnant. From sibling rivalry to marital strife, Thomas uncovers the pain, the poignancy, and the belief in love that lie in the hearts of her heroines.
(from the Book jacket)

“A fresh and captivating voice…Being somebody’s daughter, girlfriend, lover or wife is not such an easy condition, though in Ms. Thomas’ hands they are all to be explored with joy.”
—Karen Ray, the new york times Book Review

Purchase Getting Over Tom

Here we meet four New York City apartment dwellers, all of whom live on a single short block on the Upper West Side, where, unbeknownst to them—but delightfully beknownst to the reader—they “pass like ships in the night.”

There’s Walter, whose wonderful wife has just left him; there’s Edith, a fiftyish virgin whose once-famous mother has just died; there’s Bunny, whose big sister has run away and left her behind to deal with their mother and their mother’s boyfriend; and there’s Belle, whose married lover, Rudy, has died on the fire escape wearing her dead husband Herb’s pajama top.
(from the Book jacket)

“She turns on a dime and leaves you change.”
—E. Annie Proulx
“Compassion peppered with wit.”
—Chicago Tribune
“Blends tears with laughter.”
—The New York Times Book Review

Purchase Herb’s Pajamas

Parent’s Choice
Honor Award

“Thomas and Low’s tender story of Lily, a dog who apprehensively moves from a Boston apartment to a house in Vermont, reveals the ripening of their talents. …This gently humorous book teaches that home, even if a doghouse, is where the heart is.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Children will respond to [Lily’s] feelings of unease over change…An engaging choice.”
—School Library Journal

Purchase Lily






Pearl got a set of colors for her birthday. Now all Pearl wants to do is paint. And paint. And paint.
Pearl would rather paint than play with her friends, eat dinner, or do her schoolwork. Even when she goes to bed, she dreams about the things she’ll paint. Everyone’s worried about Pearl, but Aunt Peg isn’t; she knows a true artist when she sees one.
Illustrated with playful imitations of the signature styles of master painters, this celebration of creativity and vision will inspire and delight budding artists.
(from the Book jacket)