Courtney Maum

Courtney Maum is the author of the novels Touch and I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, the chapbook Notes from Mexico, and the handbook Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer’s Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book. Her writing and essays have been widely published in such outlets as BuzzFeed; The New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; and Modern Loss. She is the founder of the learning collaborative The Cabins, and she also works as a product and cosmetic shade namer from her home in Connecticut.


  • “Delightful. . . . In Lara, Maum has given a little-considered daughter a more hopeful future”

    —Mona Simpson, The New York Times Book Review

  • “Taut and lush.”

    The Washington Post

  • “Reveals the power a mother holds over her daughter.”


  • “Delivered in spades. Highly recommended.”

    Glamour, Best Books of the Decade

  • Slender, intelligent. . . . A portrait of the young woman amidst the artists.

    The Boston Globe

  • “Beautiful. . . . A story about growing up and looking for love.”


  • “A whimsical and poignant account of art and self-discovery, explored through the lens of a girl who yearns to be understood.”


  • “An excellent way to spend a summer weekend.”


  • “A vividly drawn novel of family, sacrifice, and the limits of understanding.”

    Southern Living

  • “A mesmerizing story of alienation, intimacy, and the elusive powers of art.”


  • “Its charm lies less in its summarizable qualities . . . than in Maum’s superb balance between humor and grief, and her talent for saying just enough, never too much.”


  • “Compelling. . . . freshly original and unusual.”

    Book Riot

  • “Maum’s coming-of-age novel among some of Europe’s elite is heartbreaking in its evocation of a teenage girl whose mother collects artists to save but who ignores the daughter struggling not to drown.”

    Star Tribune

  • “An intimate fever dream.”

    Los Angeles Review of Books

  • “An arty, lavish novel, Costalegre examines one of the relationships that is often the most surreal to dissect: the one between mother and daughter.”


  • A rich and delectable tale of art, love, and war.

    Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

  • “Enchanting.”

    Kirkus, Starred Review

  • “A brilliantly arch and haunting novel of privilege and deprivation.”


  • “A soul-searching, atmospheric novel set in a hot, humid climate as torrid as the affairs of the characters who inhabit it.”

    Library Journal

  • “Mesmerizing and unsettling, Costalegre is a wonder, and Courtney Maum shows herself once again to be a writer of many gifts. This is a book for anyone who’s ever loved, and not felt sufficiently loved in return; and for anyone who’s had to try to grow up; for, that is, everyone.”

    —R.O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries

  • As heady, delirious, and heartbreaking as a young girl just beginning to fall in love with the world.

    —Samantha Hunt, author of The Seas

  • A spectacular high-wire act that dazzles and devastates.

    —Laura van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel

  • A special book, by a writer who proves on these pages that she can do anything.

    —Julie Buntin, author of Marlena

  • Memorable and meaningful, Maum’s work remains with me as a reminder of love in the agony of teenage years and art in the terror of war.

    —Amelia Gray, author of Isadora

  • “With its captivating mix of true-to-life characters and WWII history, Costalegre is surreal, intelligent, and full of integrity.”

    —Mark Eisner, author of Neruda: The Biography of a Poet