The Original 1982

Review Excerpts:

“Carson’s soft-lit prose never gets too romantic — and, most remarkably, she doesn’t pass judgment, instead chronicling the ups and downs of two fates unfolding with rueful realism. Mothers and others will appreciate her approach.” (NPR)

“Carson hasn’t abandoned music completely; all the musicality of nuanced emotion can be found in the distilled beauty of her delicate prose. The music world may be losing a voice of quietly impassioned grace, but the literary world has easily and fortunately gained one.” (PopMatters)

“A lyrical story of love, longing, and acceptance. Beautifully imaged and authentically told, the result is a deeply meaningful exploration of an often painful subject.” (Booklist)

“Carson’s prose is powerful, and often lyrical, and she excels at evoking a strong sense of time and place, which will leave readers nostalgic for 1980s New York City.” (

“A daring, thoughtful book — delightfully unpretentious and full of love. THE ORIGINAL 1982 deftly explores the ways in which even what seem like the wrong choices can lead us in the right direction.” (Alethea Black, author of I Knew You’d Be Lovely)

“THE ORIGINAL 1982 follows one woman’s what if? through a captivating double narrative that keeps the reader hooked. I fell hard for both options, and for the wise and determined narrator, Lisa, and I couldn’t stop reading until the tender, touching end.” (Jessica Anya Blau, author of The Wonder Bread Summer)

“In The Original 1982, Lori Carson’s heroine Lisa asks the question “What if?” and then describes, in often heartbreaking detail, exactly how it would have been if she had made a different, life-changing choice. Carson writes about regret, desire, and most of all, love in its many forms with grace and sensitivity. This is a novel of deep sympathy and enormous heart, an impressive debut.” (Christine Sneed, author of the novel Little Known Facts.)

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