Winner of Story Line's first Three Oaks Prize in Fiction, supported by Bloomsbury Books of Ashland, Oregon.Selected from more than 600 entrants, Going Away Party stood out for its brisk pace, sassy, streetwise patter, and surprising, compassionate conclusion. Twenty-year-old Jess MacGuire, a good Catholic girl, wrestles with her uncertain future while her family is away on vacation. When her mother's ex-lover appears, she invites him to stay...until they're caught red-handed. An edgy, optimistic affirmation of love and family life.Laura Pedersen was chosen as one of Ten Outstanding Young Americans by President Clinton in 1994. The youngest person ever to have a seat on the floor of the American Stock Exchange, she wrote her first book, Play Money, about that experience, and a second, Street-Smart Career Guide, about entrepeneurship. A former assistant to Joan Rivers, she writes comedy and performs at the Improv and other venues. She has appeared on Oprah, the David Letterman Show, and Good Morning, America, and is a columnist for the Sunday New York Times.