Authors IRL: Get to Know Emma Straub, author of This Time Tomorrow

You haven’t read a time travel book like this before. Emma Straub’s forthcoming novel, This Time Tomorrow, is a charming and witty story about second chances and the everchanging relationship between a parent and child. Emma’s signature humor and playful take on time travel tropes make this book the perfect addition to a staff-favorite backlist catalog, including The Vacationers, Modern Lovers, and First Editions Club selection All Adults Here. (Psst, This Time Tomorrow is our May First Editions Club selection!)

Emma took time out of her busy schedule being both an author and an indie bookstore owner (hey, Books Are Magic!) to answer our Authors IRL questionnaire ahead of the release of This Time Tomorrow and her in-store event here at Parnassus! She’ll be in conversation with Margaret Renkl on Wednesday, May 18 at 6:30pm. Space is limited, so registration is required. And now, enjoy getting to know Emma Straub!

Emma Straub | Credit: Melanie Dunea

I’ve been listening to: Who? Weekly, my favorite podcast. It’s about D-list celebrities, basically, many of whom I have never heard of, but Lindsay Weber and Bobby Finger are so funny that it doesn’t matter. Also, Bobby’s first novel, The Old Place, comes out this fall! It’s not about D-list celebrities but you should pre-order it anyway.

I love to watch: the Great British Pottery Throwdown. Like the bake-off, but with pottery! It’s such gentle entertainment.

Something I saw online that made me laugh, cry, or think: Everything makes me cry, literally everything. But my friend Aminatou Sow posts TikTok videos, and those make me laugh. I don’t know how to do TikTok well enough to find my own funny videos, so I’m very grateful that she curates them for the rest of us.

A book I recently recommended to someone else: Ada Calhoun’s Also A Poet, out in June—it has some of the same DNA as my book—a writer daughter of a writer father facing his death, and art, that sort of thing. It (predictably) made me weep.

Something I started doing during the pandemic: Oh, I wish I had a good answer for this, like knitting or baking bread or playing guitar. I guess I started doing some 80s-style dance aerobics videos. Those bring me joy, and I will never ever let anyone else watch.

If I could teleport anywhere in the world right now, I’d go to: Mexico City for some tacos, maybe? A swimming pool? Any swimming pool.

I wish I knew more about: Everything. I think that being an indie bookseller requires one to be a generalist, which means I can talk to anyone about just about anything for 2 minutes. Let’s start with the history of the world. Not the Mel Brooks movie, I already know that one.

My favorite thing about indie bookstores: that you can always find a new best friend, if you look long enough.

This Time Tomorrow will be released on May 17.