Bio

IMG_2221Valerie Block is the author of the novels Was It Something I Said? (SoHo Press, 1998), None of Your Business (Ballantine Books, 2003) and Don’t Make a Scene (Ballantine Books, 2007). These books were comic novels of (bad) manners set in present-day New York City. Her newest novel, Quid Pro Quo, is an ancient historical thriller about status anxiety and the corruption of power. The book, which has not yet found a home, is set in the court of Caligula, the third Emperor of Rome, and you can read about it here. Inquiries about Quid Pro Quo should go to Anne Edelstein at Anne Edelstein Literary Agency.

A private person perfectly comfortable reading papyrus in an analogue cave, Block is currently in the process of “digital transformation.” On the other hand, not everything needs to be transformed; Block is starting an anti-social network; would you like to not join her? Born and raised in New York City, she received a BA from Barnard College and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. She has been a fellow at Hawthornden International Retreat for Writers, and a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome. She lives with her husband and son in Montclair, NJ.

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Praise for Don’t Make a Scene

“A funny, smart and beautifully written homage to movies, New York, love and all the other things that make life tolerable.”
— Gary Shteyngart, author of The Russian Debutante’s Handbook and Absurdistan

Don’t Make A Scene is a frothy, witty delight that stealthily delivers some very healthy ideas about love, real estate, Cuba, and the movies, and surprises you into frequent sharp fits of laughter. Valerie Block is that comic sensibility for whom fans of Mitford, Spark, and Waugh have been waiting.” — Alice Elliot Dark, author of In the Gloaming and Think of England

“An entertaining winner.” — Publishers Weekly

“Tartly clever … Block’s zesty take on love, life and the pursuit of rent-controlled nirvana is an especially smart and cunning romp.” — Booklist

Don’t Make a Scene is an amusing, sophisticated novel with two interesting major figures and a nicely developed cast of supporting characters.” The Boston Globe

“Sparkling dialogue, witty conversations, and great characters.” Front Street Reviews

“Those who have read Block’s previous books, Was It Something I Said? and None of Your Business, are already familiar with her impeccable comic timing and well-drawn characters… As a Cuban-American myself, I was particularly enthralled with Vladimir — rarely have I come across a Cuban character created by a non-Cuban author who was so realistic.” Bookreporter.com

“Valerie Block delves into the human condition with insight. ” Bookloons.com

“Readers will find themselves laughing out loud throughout this book. Don’t Make a Scene is very entertaining and (a) delightful read.” Bestsellersworld.com

Praise for None of Your Business:

“Not only is None of Your Business a terrific mystery story; it’ll also be the funniest book you’ve read all year.” Chicago Sun Times

 “Spike the world weariness of Elmore Leonard with the exuberance of Carl Hiasson and you have Block’s deadpan descriptions of human nature and urban existence… With her light, dancing rhythms and syncopated style, Block keeps us guessing as she leads us into lives that are neither perfect nor pathetic and reveals our deeply strange species to be, if anything, underrated.” Newsday

“Doesn’t Valerie Block know that mystery dialogue isn’t supposed to sparkle? Doesn’t she realize it’s supposed to be hard-boiled to the point of inedibility? . . . [None of Your Business is] an episode of Law and Order scripted by Candace Bushnell. And, if that’s not enough, for maximum degree of difficulty, Block supplies us with that rarest of creatures, a sympathetic, believable and deliciously malicious villain who by the end of the book has stolen not only the $100 million but the show as well.” — TIME magazine

“[None of Your Business] is perfectly wonderful and an absolute gem of a read.”Kingston Observer

“Valerie Block’s None of Your Business is an enticing enterprise.”Los Angeles Times

“If you haven’t been practicing safe computing habits up until now, this book will open your eyes… [But] you don’t have to be computer savvy to enjoy the story… It’s a witty crime story for everyone.” —  El Segundo Herald

“As Block demonstrated in Was It Something I Said?, she has Richard Condon’s manic energy and the here-and-now vocabulary of this week’s Time Out New York. Oh, and she has the police procedural thing down pat. Best of all, she has a comic streak that’s ruthless yet weirdly compassionate, because it’s truly character-driven.” — Publishers Weekly

None of Your Business is a delightful and original romp.” Chicago Tribune

“Block follows up her comic romance Was It Something I Said? (1998) with an unusual and hilarious take on the police procedural…No one is immune to scrutiny in this sprawling, entertaining novel full of eccentric New Yorkers whose lives are not proceeding quite as they had planned.” — Booklist

“Computer crimes, crooked accountants, and stolen identities form the building blocks of this entertaining second novel from Block.” — Library Journal

Praise for Was It Something I Said?

“A true comedy of bad manners. . . an infectious celebration of neurotic love. Hands down, irresistible.” — ELLE

“Miracles do happen: an urban love story, Manhattan set, in which the fact that two lovers have everything stacked against them – insanely controlling parents, manic workplaces, and their own confused selves – results in a brilliantly funny and even wise first novel. . . Block has taken the pulse of love in the 90s with verve and panache.” — Kirkus (starred review)

“Though the plot mirrors urban life all too well, Block slyly chronicles the neuroses, annoyances and chemistry that bind this unlikely, likeable duo.” — Entertainment Weekly

“Watching yuppies negotiate the perils of love . . . has rarely been so much fun as in this comedy of Manhattanite manners from first-timer Block. By documenting every twist, speed bump, and roadblock on the relationship highway, she deftly mingles mundane details . . .with fleeting moments of delirious happiness.” — Publishers Weekly

“Like a Jane Austen novel, a wonderfully funny, smart, and ultimately satisfying look at the often rocky road to marriage. With a keen sense of observation and a wicked sense of humor, Valerie Block has written a bright comic chronicle of love and life in our time.”— Binnie Kirshenbaum, author of Hester Among the Ruins

“Three parts humor to one part horror, Was It Something I Said? considers the perils and possibilities of personal and professional compromise. And it barely misses a beat.”
The Washington Post

“With wry humor and sweet pathos Block puts her vivid, irresistible characters through the relationship wringer as they analyze nuances of every action and reaction on the way to finding the right match. — The Twin Cities Star Tribune

“I’ve never read anything as amusing, current, and true-to-life. Valerie Block has managed to catch the stream of consciousness of a whole generation. What a hoot.”— Olivia Goldsmith, author of The First Wives Club

“A smart, sexy novel about love and life in New York City.” — Cosmopolitan

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Contact info:

valerie(@)valerieblock.com

Publicity:

Patty Park
Random House Publishing Group/Ballantine
1745 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
ppark(@)randomhouse.com

Foreign rights:

Rachael Kind
Random House Publishing Group/Ballantine
1745 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
rkind(@)Randomhouse.com

Film, TV, Performance and Electronic Media:

Gail Hochman
Brandt and Hochman
1501 Broadway
NY, NY 10036
212-840-5760