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Larry Loebell is a writer and teacher, best known for his plays La Tempestad and House Divided and for having been one of the EMMY-winning writers on the first season of the animated series Rugrats. He has published two previous books of fiction, The Abundance League, a collection of short stories, and Seven Steps Ahead, a collection of novellas. His plays and monologues have been published by Playscripts, Indie Theatre Now, NY Theater Experience, Smith and Krauss, and Applause Books. He is the author of several other full length plays including Memorial Day, Pride of the Lion, The Ballad of John Wesley Reed, and Girl Science. His playwriting career highlights include a “Best New Play” Barrymore Award nomination, four Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships, a Pennsylvania Playwriting Award from the Theater Association of Pennsylvania, a grant from the EST/Sloan Science Foundation, and a grant from the National Council for Jewish Culture. He has taught film history and screen writing, and led undergraduate creative writing workshops at the University of the Arts, and taught playwriting, dramaturgy, and theater history at Arcadia University. His fiction has been published in local and national periodicals and presented in Philadelphia’s Writing Aloud, and was a recent finalist in the Marguerite McGlinn National Short Story Competition. Larry has written and directed two low-budget feature films, Dostoyevsky Man, loosely based on Notes from Underground, which was a “Fringe First” in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and Portrait Master, a political thriller.  Since 2005, he has been under commission to write and annually revise Living News, a “living newspaper” style theatrical experience, which performs during the school year at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Larry has an MA in English from Colorado State University and an MFA in Film and Television from Temple University.




Set in the world of women’s professional roller derby, TOUGH GIRL IN THE JAM is a novel about sports, strength, and sacrifice.  Nina is the lead Jammer on the Philly Liberty Belles. Her team is practicing for a championship bout. Her new girlfriend, Rachel is her biggest fan. As Nina and Rachel move toward a deeper commitment and start to contemplate the shape of their lives together, Nina’s estranged father falls ill.  Nina’s mother pressures Nina to donate a kidney to save him. Rachel knows that agreeing will end Nina’s derby career, and will alter their lives and plans.  Each of the women grapples with what it means to commit her life to the other, and how the past impacts the present.  A life-threatening crisis for Nina’s father on the day of the Liberty Belles’ championship bout forces Nina to make the toughest play of her life. Knowing the possible consequences for herself, her father, and Rachel, she must choose the course she will take into the future.

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These stories pull no punches. Don’t let the plain black wrapper fool you. This book is sometimes shocking. That may seem an odd thing to say about contemporary fiction—what could possibly shock today’s reader? Well, how about a disabled woman, a quadriplegic with no feeling below her chest, describing in detail how she pleasures her lover—and insisting that, despite her lack of sensation, it’s fully consensual, not a horrid form of sexual exploitation? If you’re a resolutely PC person, prepare to be scandalized on occasion, not because the author is illiberal but because he’s willing to explore beyond the boundaries where our culture tells us to stop looking and stop talking.  Engrossed with our material world and critical of it, focused both on the ordinary and on the weird that lies just below the surface of the ordinary, these are fascinating and unique stories, unlike those I’ve seen from any other contemporary writer.  – Sam Gridley Review

I want you to read this book, in part because it is such a compelling read, and in part because there is so much wisdom in these pages, so many observations about how people think, how they interact, how their passions move them, and also how their passions betray them. The Abundance League is that rare story collection that helps you look at  those you know, and those you may just glimpse, with new insight—and also entertains you along the way. I am just of blown away by how much intelligence about people it contains.  -- Robin Black (Author of Life Drawing and If I Loved You I Would Tell You This)

In The Abundance League, Larry Loebell delves into seemingly ordinary moments and uncovers surprising layers in the deep. The ten stories in this collection are populated with watchers and listeners and, again and again, small, acute observations that yield big truths. These are my favorite kind of stories: honest, free of gimmicks, written with urgency, clarity and insight.  – Elise Juska (Author of The Hazards of Sleeping Alone, Getting Over Jack Wagner, and The Blessings)

"This short story (49 Seconds in the Box) is a little heartbreaker.  The narrator, Mira, gets in the elevator on the way home after having her beloved dog, Jake, put to sleep.  She reflects on all those many trips up and down with Jake, and we learn that she counted the moments of his dying as she’s counted the time in the elevator over the years.  This is a concise, wise, story that works by juxtaposing the anti-dog Arnie (who cares for his dying wife) with the dog-loving Mira, who has had to dispatch her love.  There isn’t a wasted word in here.”  -- Bonnie Jo Campbell, (author of Mothers Tell Your Daughters and Once Upon a River) on choosing 49 Seconds in the Box as a finalist for the 2015 Marguerite McGlinn National Prize for Fiction.



NOVELLAS -- 2018

About Seven Steps Ahead

 “Reading A Joke from Larry Loebell’s Seven Steps Ahead makes me appreciate once more the writer as high priest of our communal memory.  Loebell paints an intensely accurate portrait of life in the '70's and '80's.  His attention to detail seems to make detail itself resonate with emotion.  It's as if he sneaked back in time and returned with a bagful of pleasures which he now empties out on a table before us.”  Lee Blessing, Playwright, A Walk in the Woods, Two Rooms and For the Loyal.

“We need stories like Somebody to Love in our climate of moral lassitude, political performance, and imperial decline.  But we need them especially so that we can understand the profound personal disruptions that arise from principled belief.  Bravo.”  Steve Almond, Author of My Life in Heavy Metal and Writs of Passion.