It’s been four-and-a-half years since Taffy Brodesser-Akner added “bestselling novelist” to her already long list of accolades with the release of her debut novel, Fleishman Is in Trouble. On Monday, the writer is celebrating five Emmy nominations for the book’s FX television adaptation—including one for Brodesser-Akner herself in the category of Writing for a Limited Series—and revealing the cover for her next novel, Long Island Compromise, out on July 9.
This time around, she has written an epic that follows a family over the course of decades. In 1983, the Fletcher family is rocked when patriarch Carl is kidnapped and returned, mostly unharmed, one week later after the exchange of a hefty ransom. Four decades later, Carl, his wife Ruth, and their three adult children, Nathan, Abigail, and Beamer, reunite on Long Island after the death of Carl’s mother and come to the realization that the family’s fortune is long gone.
“The family epic is my favorite kind of novel, and, as a magazine writer I have learned there is nothing more revelatory of a person than where that person is from,” Brodesser-Akner told Vanity Fair. “That idea, plus my fascination with Long Island culture—which to me has always been equal parts romantic, criminal and tragic—gave birth to the family at the center of the book, the Fletchers—the kind of family that is wealthy enough for their money to have bought them security, but also to leave them in danger.”
The novel’s bold cover is reminiscent of the commercial art that prevailed during the mid-20th century. “It evokes my favorite New York magazine covers from the late 1970s and early 1980s,” she said. “I feel like Tyler Comrie, the designer, really saw the soul of the book.”
Like Fleishman Is in Trouble before it, Long Island Compromise will also plumb the depths of anxiety and disappointment as the younger generation of Fletchers approaches middle age. One son, Beamer, is a Hollywood screenwriter, and Brodesser-Akner said she drew a bit of inspiration from her own career detour into show business.
“I’ve been very lucky, and very busy,” she said of the years that have passed since her debut was released. “Beamer was actually a film executive when I started writing this. Then he was a producer. He became a screenwriter in revisions. As I waited for feedback between drafts of Fleishman episodes, I poured all my anxiety about my abilities and about that business into that poor character, who, I’m happy to say, resembles none of the screenwriters I’ve met so far along the way.”