Lorna Landvik reads from ‘Best to Laugh,’ a novel account of ’80s stand-up

Author Lorna Landvik

Prairie Lights — Thursday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.

Minnesota novelist Lorna Landvik reads tonight at Prairie Lights from Best to Laugh, a book which tells the story of Candy Pekkala, a young woman who uproots herself from the midwest to Los Angeles on little more than a whim and ends up pursuing a career in stand-up comedy. Though not a memoir, the story draws heavily on Landvik’s own pursuit of a comedy career in the late 70’s and early ‘80s that, like Pekkala, took her out to L.A.

Best to Laugh does a thorough job of depicting this revered era of stand-up comedy, from the vivid descriptions of the Comedy Store’s atmosphere, a club where a number of ‘80s stand-up stars began their career, to the all-too-L.A. cast of characters that fill up Peyton Hall, the apartment complex just off the Sunset Strip where Pekkala ends up living.

Though Landvik considers herself primarily an author these days, she still performs comedy with an annual improv show in Minneapolis, and, for the release of Best to Laugh, she produced a series of videos where she acts out role of the novel’s Madame Pepper, a fortune teller to the stars. In the video above Madam Pepper deals, tongue-in-cheek, with a client who just doesn’t get “chick lit.”

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