“The prolific author and playwright parcels her stream of consciousness into wily and witty essays in Life in New York.” —Sam Roberts, The New York Times

Seven Sisters Book Award Winner for Best Nonfiction

Laura serves up a hilarious memoir about three decades of city life as she experienced the best and worst of times. Neighborhoods that now feature chai bars, Pilates, and Gymboree were drug dens, ganglands, and shantytowns. A trip to Central Park often ended at Central Booking, checking out perp lineups. New Yorkers are portrayed as being as diverse as the city they so colorfully inhabit, cautious but generous, brash but welcoming. Enjoy an uproarious romp down memory lane as the city emerges from its "late middle-age Elizabeth Taylor period" to become the modern metropolis we know today.

Click here to read an excerpt.

WANDA'S BETTER WAY (Children: Grades K-4)

“A child discovers that she has a special gift for spotting and solving engineering problems. In her realistic illustrations, Penny Weber emphasizes close-ups of the young inventor's mobile expressions�and light bulbs going off overhead as she visits in turn each member of her mixed-race family. Bright encouragement for young scientists and makers.” —Kirkus Reviews

A hilarious tale of a young person's misadventures while pursing some inventive ideas she�s hatched. The story inspires young people to pursue the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math. Women in the US earn just over 57% of bachelor�s degrees in all fields, yet they receive less than 20% of degrees in computer science, engineering, and physics. Ask people to picture a physicist, and they will likely imagine Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, or Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory.

WANDA'S BETTER WAY depicts a young person struggling to find solutions without substantial parent or teacher involvement as some children don't have a strong support system. Likewise, the projects don�t require financial backing or access to expensive equipment. The book contains diversity in the portrayal of its characters, including within the family. Wanda�s brother plays an active role in the story so it should appeal equally to boys and girls. WANDA�S BETTER WAY can be read aloud or individually. It can also be read to children who are not yet reading on their own. This is a terrific book for story time at schools, libraries, and camps that promotes imagination and should provoke a lively discussion.

(Fulcrum Publishing)

Unplugged: Ella Gets Her Family Back (Children: Grades 1-4)

Winner of Gold Mom's Choice Award

Winner of Skipping Stones magazine Honor Award for multicultural and ecological awareness

Winner of bronze for best picture book for children of all ages in the Moonbeam Children's Book Awards

Ella is really frustrated. Lately it seems like the whole family has forgotten how to be together. Instead of playing Hangman and making blueberry waffles, everyone is talking on cell phones, playing video games, or using the computer. What's a girl to do? When Ella finally makes her move, it gets everyone's attention. This is a lively book about the issue of managing technology so that it can become more family friendly. 

(Tilbury House)

AVA'S ADVENTURE (Children: Grades 1-4)

Pedersen brings to life the power of a child's imagination to entertain with her new children's picture book, AVA'S ADVENTURE, illustrated by Penny Weber. When Ava is invited by a friend to go snowboarding with him, her parents say no, explaining that they can't afford to send her on a weekend ski trip. Disappointed and frustrated, Ava escapes to her room to sulk. But what she discovers there is that her own creativity and some simple toys can be more exciting and fulfilling than any snowboard ride.

(Tilbury House)

BUFFALO GAL named best autobiography by ForeWord magazine
Click here to read an excerpt of BUFFALO GAL

BUFFALO GAL: A hilarious new memoir by Laura Pedersen about growing up in the economically devastated Rust Belt during the 1970s.

A fabulous one-two literary punch, BUFFALO GAL has the historical sensibility of Russell Baker's GROWING UP combined with the sharp humor of Augusten Burroughs' RUNNING WITH SCISSORS. The 8th largest city in the country in 1901, known for its beauty and progress, blizzard prone Buffalo had slipped to 36th place by the end of the century, with one-third of its citizens on public assistance. Due to its heavy ethnic mix, Catholic majority, and close proximity to Canada, the city was a flash point for race riots, anti-war protests, abortion rallies, bingo, bowling, and Friday night fish frys. Join the Pedersens as they survive separation, stagflation, the energy crisis, and President Jimmy Carter's boozy chain smoking brother marketing his own line of "Billy" beer. (Fulcrum Publishing)

Click here to read an excerpt of PLANES, TRAINS, AND AUTO-RICKSHAWS


Planes, Trains, and Auto-Rickshaws is part humorous travelogue, part history, and part cultural reflection.  This essay collection provides an intimate glimpse of a nation at its turning point and is a must-read for travelers to the subcontinent and those who want to understand India beyond the headlines.  Pedersen also explores the increasing contributions of women in this burgeoning democracy and how their particular needs are finally being examined.

"Fun and quirky…reveals the many conflicts and contradictions underlying life in modern India." -- Kirkus Reviews

Indie Book Award winner for Humor and International Book Award finalist for Travel Essays
Click here to read an excerpt of BUFFALO UNBOUND

BUFFALO UNBOUND: A humorous and heartfelt look at the rise and fall and rebirth of The City of Good Neighbors.

When Forbes magazine recently ranked Buffalo, New York, eighth on a list of America's 10 Most Miserable Cities, former New York Times columnist Laura Pedersen set out to celebrate the people and places that make Buffalo the Most Exciting City.  In Buffalo Unbound, a follow-up to the award-winning Buffalo Gal, Pedersen captures the current renaissance in a humorous conversational style that would make former Nickel City newspaperman Mark Twain proud.

Beginner�s Luck was chosen by Barnes & Noble for their �Discover Great New Writers� program, and by Borders for �Original Voices.�

BEGINNER'S LUCK is a story of belonging, and the love and courage it can instill within the human heart. And paradoxically, the freedom and feeling of independence that a sense of belonging kindles in a soul that is hungry for life in all its glories and disappointments.

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Card shark and former wild child Hallie Palmer is in college now, and Bernard, her former legal guardian and go-to guy for crepes suzettes, has suddenly appeared during final exams. He's hysterical that his relationship has gone down in flames and wants to enlist Hallie in a scheme to win Gil back. So Hallie returns to Cosgrove County, Ohio, the setting of Pedersen's award-winning novel BEGINNER'S LUCK, and resumes her job as live-in yard person for the summer, and also for some damage control.

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When the death of her father leaves her mother in a state of shock, card shark Hallie Palmer � the fiery protagonist from BEGINNER�S LUCK and HEART�S DESIRE - returns home from college to bravely deal herself in as head of a chaotic household and care for her eight younger siblings.

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The fourth and final book in the Hallie Palmer series.

Since Hallie's father died and left behind ten children, money at the Palmer household is tighter than ever. And just when Hallie thought she was graduating from college, it turns out she's four credits short. A professor needs one more student for a project that will take her around the world, only longtime boyfriend Craig has another proposition for Hallie.  

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Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

PLAY MONEY: My Brief But Brilliant Career on Wall Street

The sassy memoirs of a still-young woman who had a short and bittersweet but financially rewarding career as an index options trader at the American Stock Exchange.
Having quit the University of Michigan after just one semester, Pedersen headed for Wall Street. Starting as an ASE clerk at age 18 in January 1984, she earned a partnership in a specialist firm (and an exchange membership) shortly after turning 20. By the time the author left the Amex late in 1989 (within days of the market’s second precipitous break in two years), her annual income was close to $500,000. Physically and mentally, however, she qualified as a basket case, with badly strained vocal cords, impaired hearing, jumpy vision, chronically sore feet, a wealth of vague anxieties, and an attention span that could most charitably be described as transient. Here, Pedersen (who pinched pennies to maximize her investment bankroll) offers some good yarns about the lessons learned by an Upstate New York lass while apartment-hunting in Manhattan. She also provides pointed commentary on casino capitalism during the Reagan era. At the heart of her narrative, though, are antic accounts of the manic goings-on in the ASE’S trading pits. In addition to making split-second judgment calls on contracts that could yield her employer substantial profits or losses, Pedersen had to cope with unsparing competition from male-chauvinist rivals (and their insensitive pranks), the nearly unbearable din of the trading floor, and other allied challenges. She nonetheless kept her wits and prevailed to the extent that she escaped with her life, comparatively good health, and a small fortune (accumulated mainly in real estate).

A savvy insider’s vastly entertaining line on aspects of the money game.

GOING AWAY PARTY is Laura Pedersen's first novel, and winner the Three Oaks Prize for Fiction. (Story Line Press, 2001.)

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Having descended from a long line of indomitable, good-humored Scots, Hayden MacBride sees no reason to take his own death lying down. In fact, he now spends his days crashing funerals for the free food and insight into the Great Beyond. Then he meets Rosamond, a nun playing hooky from the Holy Orders. Hayden is smitten the instant her heavy silver cross smacks him in the face when she leaps up to do the wave at a ball game. Luckily, Rosamond has picked the right person to teach her how to live . . . and to love�because nobody does both better than Hayden MacBride.

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THE SWEETEST HOURS is a heartwarming, life affirming, laugh-out-loud funny meditation on the many different ways we live and love.

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Twenty-eight year old Josie Kincaid is a talented, sexy, aggressive, street-smart journalist at a cable news network who aspires to become a star investigative reporter and change the world with her work. To succeed in a cutthroat business, she follows the lead of her male counterparts by acting tough, sleeping around and drinking too much. Underneath this rough exterior beats a passionate heart, untried until Calvin Gabriel Thomas becomes her new officemate. A 30-year-old Yale-trained lawyer, he's decided to give journalism a try rather than follow in the political footsteps of his famous father, a six-term Senator from Connecticut. Josie and Calvin come from different worlds, have different styles, and hold conflicting views on whether money can be a positive force in society or is the very essence of corruption. However, it's clear that Calvin might find himself interested in Josie if she weren’t so angry, self-destructive and outspoken. Meanwhile, Josie thinks that she might have given Calvin a shot if he hadn’t gone and gotten married their first week of working together. But when Josie receives the assignment of a lifetime it’s a chance to seal her future as well as find her heart.

Click here to read an excerpt.

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