The Story of Vera Caspary

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Michelle Dean takes an intimate look at Vera Caspary, the woman who wrote Laura

But there is another source for the character. The writing of “Laura” was a kind of accident, done for money. Caspary did not like murder mysteries herself, and she saw in them a structural flaw. “The murderer, the most interesting character,” she wrote, “has always to be on the periphery of action lest he give away the secret that can be revealed only in the final pages.” If she was going to write one, she decided she needed to do it differently.


Lyz's writing has been published in the New York Times Motherlode, Jezebel, Aeon, Pacific Standard, and others. Her book on midwestern churches is forthcoming from Indiana University Press. She has her MFA from Lesley and skulks about on Twitter @lyzl. Lyz is a member of The Rumpus Advisory Board and a full-time staff writer for the Columbia Journalism Review. More from this author →