Laura Schenone Head Shot
Photo: Joanna Eldredge Morrissey

Media Inquiries

Please contact Will Scarlett
at W.W. Norton & Co.


Photo: Simon Schaffner

What can I tell you about me? I was born and raised in New Jersey. My dad worked in the family plumbing business, and my mom took claims at the local unemployment office, then worked her way up in corporate America. The Sisters of Charity educated me, and some were indeed charitable. At home I had two younger sisters and two Doberman Pincers, beloved sweet girls, all.

I decided to become a writer when I was twelve. A poet, I thought, or perhaps a novelist, or journalist. I wasn’t sure. After college, I freelanced for national and regional magazines and newspapers. I eventually began writing nonfiction books because real life is so unbelievable, and I have a lot of questions.

I am the author of three books of nonfiction published by W.W. Norton & Co. The first, A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove: A History of American Women Told Through Food, Recipes, and Remembrances (2003) was inspired by the time I spent living in a pre-Civil War farmhouse wondering about all the women before me who cooked for and fed the human race. The book was featured in many national and regional news outlets including The New York Times and NPR. It won a James Beard Book Award. Al Roker even came to my house to make pudding.

Next, I wrote a memoir about my quest to find a long lost family recipe. It was a project that conveniently required travel to Italy. The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken (2007) was featured in SaveurFood and WineGood HousekeepingElleEntertainment WeeklyNPR, and Reader’s Digest. It was selected as a Newsday Cookbook of the Year, and Newsweek called it “a feast for the mind and the heart, as well as the palate.” The time I spent exploring Genoa and learning from pasta makers there was a joy beyond measure.

My latest book takes a new direction. It came about when, perhaps symbolically, I was selling a vintage stove. The woman who came to buy it told me she brought over greyhounds from Ireland who needed homes. We became friends and eventually, she and my husband convinced me to adopt an Irish sight hound named Lily for my animal-loving oldest son. Through Lily, I met Marion Fitzgibbon in Ireland and many animal rescue people around the world. For the most part, I thought they were out of their minds. And yet, I was fascinated by their passion and sense of justice for those who cannot speak for themselves. The world is radically changing its views of animals. Who were these people who were leading the way?

The Dogs of Avalon: The Race To Save Animals in Peril, will be published by W.W. Norton, August 22, 2017. Kirkus has called it “an engrossing account of greyhounds, their owners, and their champions.” The Bark has said it “merits high praise and appreciation.” Library Journal writes that “Schenone’s lovely prose captivates” and “. . . in Fitzgibbon, readers have a true animal champion.” The book has received blurbs from scientists and writers Marc Bekoff, Greogory Bern, Frans De Waal, Christina Baker Kline, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, and Dale Russakoff.

I live with my family in New Jersey, where I love to read, grow vegetables in my front yard, walk Lily, and spend time with my family and friends.