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My Works


From Harper Collins - the conclusion to the Wasteland series!

Who will survive the Wasteland?

"Action packed, page turning suspense. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a thickening plot and high adrenaline rushes."

"Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan have woven an intricate & breathtakingly sad future in this breakout dystopian series."

"I am hooked...I highly enjoyed the storyline in this book."

"A gripping dystopian trilogy that always had me reading as fast as I could to see what was going to happen next. There continues to be a ton of action in the book, so you never quite know what to expect....The plot was thrilling and full of tense moments and exciting twists...Definitely recommended for fans of science fiction and dystopias, as well as those who enjoy action and adventure."


A new short story collection, from Chizine!

"Klavan’s first collection hark[s] back to stories popular a generation ago, involving a world much like our own but creepier, curated by the likes of Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Serling."
--Toronto Star

"The stories in “The Family Unit” are sure to make the reader squirm and Klavan would not have it any other way... “The Family Unit” is the poetry of the off-kilter mind that shockingly illuminates the weird world that surrounds us...There was not one story that I did not like."

"A playwright, graphic novelist, and mystery writer, Laurence Klavan has long enthralled audiences with his extraordinarily fertile imagination, insight, and style. He is also an admired short-story writer. The Family Unit brings together his best work, reminding us of the pleasure of unplugging, putting your feet up, and living someone else's life for a while."
—T.J. Stiles, author of the Pulitzer-winning The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt and Custer's Trials: A Life on the New Frontier of America

"I have this secret addiction to the short stories of Laurence Klavan, which sneak up on me at odd moments in little magazines and small presses. Attention, all! Give these stories big magazines and big presses. They are full of unexpected joys and always leave me feeling terribly uneasy and blissfully satisfied."
--John Guare, Tony Award-winning author of Six Degrees of Separation and The House of Blue Leaves

"These are wonderfully strange tales – cunningly written – eerie and satiric by turn – often evoking tremendous pathos."
--David Greenspan, five-time Obie Award-winning author of The Myopia

"Disturbing, surprising, and unflinchingly intimate, Laurence Klavan’s stories make the mundane bizarre and are absolutely engrossing."
--Danica Novgorodoff, author of The Undertaking of Lily Chen

"Laurence Klavan knows all too well that the world is changing too fast to offer us much in the way of shelter. To remind us of this, he’s written an impressive collection of stories—some playful, others tender or sobering, all of them shrewd and surprising and wise."
---John Dalton, author of The Inverted Forest and Heaven Lake

"Laurence Klavan uncovers the places you didn't know exist, the gaps between everyday life and existential horror, where the disconnect between reality and the weird operates its quiet and subtle magic."
--Maxim Jakubowski, Editor and Author

"A masterful, unnervingly funny collection set in a society with no place to hide: in other words, our own."
--Irina Reyn, author of What Happened to Anna K. and The Imperial Wife

"Laurence Klavan’s The Family Unit and Other Fantasies rides a rush of paranoid anxiety—and manages to induce a great deal of it, too...Impending doom is the genre...Reminiscent of Rod Serling...What shines through, powerfully, in these stories is the simple reality that the weirdest things happen the closest to home."

The "Wasteland" series continues...


Life ends at nineteen.
Try to get there.

"Harrowing...Well-rounded Esther is a brave, compelling hero...The book offers a tantalizing glimpse of the origin of this future populated only by savage teens..."

"Interestingly enough, Kim and Klavan provide the most idiosyncratic social formation in a sort of cross-“racial,” queer relationship, suggesting the need for an alternative kinship to help establish the possibility of a future, however guarded or limited it may be...A must read for fans of the paranormal/ fantasy/ romance/ young adult fiction genres."

"Great book, great story. Would I recommend Wanderers? Yes. Do I look forward to the next book in the series? You bet."

"I loved getting back into this dystopian world, because I really enjoyed Wasteland. The world-building in this series is great, and there's a whole lot of new stuff in this one...I don't want to give anything away so I won't say any more about it. But I definitely enjoyed this book."

"This was a great second book in a series that continues to grasp the reader until the very end. I'm interested to see where the next book will lead and what might happen. Definitely recommended for fans of science fiction and dystopias, as well as those who enjoy action and adventure."

"This was a solid continuation of a unique story with excellent world building. I look forward to seeing what the series finale has in store."

"Thrilling. Will have readers glued and guessing what to expect at each turn of the page. Thrown in are several plot twist that will unquestionably leave readers gasping."
The paperback is now on sale from Harper Collins


At fifteen, the citizens of Prin marry.
At seventeen, they reproduce.
And at nineteen, they die.

Esther is fifteen.
She has four years left.

"A Lord of the Flies for future generations, Wasteland is an irresistible and complex novel that I just couldn’t put down.”
--Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author

"Kim and Klavan’s world-building enticingly trickles through the brutal, fast-paced, multilayered plot, which is fueled by a sweet romance between brooding Caleb and spunky Esther and plenty of mysteries...The first in a planned trilogy, Wasteland raises plenty of captivating questions and doesn’t shortchange readers on satisfying answers."
— Booklist

" Once I picked this up, I couldn't put it down....Wasteland is a thrilling novel with twists and turns around every crumbling corner, romance in unexpected places, and cliffhangers that are sure to have you begging for more."

"A fast-paced and emotionally filled novel transforms into a winner for me. The two authors really know how to convey their characters' feelings and to fill the plot with multiple twists and turns. A great read for anytime of day, Wasteland has the potential to be a great series."

" Wasteland is action packed, but it also features a lot of character growth and emotion....[A] well-written dark world with surprising twists at every turn... I didn't know what was going to happen next....The ending and some of the twists are enough to break your heart. "

"Captivating...The premise of Wasteland is actually pretty cool....I recommend Wasteland to readers of post-apocalyptic novels."

"This really was a very intriguing story. It was well done and very different from other dystopians I have read...I loved the world that the authors created."

"Kim and Klavan have given us a story that is fast-paced with great character development....The surprises are many...The authors will soon present us with the second in this trilogy. I, for one, can't wait."

" I truly loved this story! I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. So unpredictable! Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan are master plotters. This book was good!"
--Millie D's Words.blogspot.com

"Addicting. A great twist to the story...A straight through action packed ride."

"Great storytelling...Highly compelling characters...This first in a trilogy is a great way to start it off."

"Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan make a great writing team...Wasteland is a good start to this new young adult series."

"Dystopian at its best with vivid world-building, Wasteland is awesome...A great story that can capture any reader's imagination."

"I would recommend this book...It flew by because I just couldn't stop reading."

"This story is full of twists and turns and will surprise you even when you expect to be surprised. I would recommend this book to anybody who loves adventure stories with a great setting, storyline, protagonist, and antagonist."

"I very much enjoyed every moment of Wasteland...I anxiously await the next book in this trilogy by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan."

"Expertly plotted."

"Discover the treasure of Wasteland...Five Stars...You have to read this...This book is a must read for fans of a dystopia based not on games of chance...This is a dystopian which makes the reader think about [what] he or she is reading."


First Second Graphic Novel August 2010
Square Fish Edition 2015
Junior Library Guild Selection
Scholastic Book Fair Selection
Chosen One of 2010's Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens by the American Library Association
Chosen One of 2010's Best New Comics for Teens by Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal
Chosen for the Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List by the Texas Library Association
Chosen as one of 2013's Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

"Smart, disgusting fun...sly social commentary with a fizzy dash of stomach-lurching horror."
--Kirkus Reviews

"A throwback to the kind of paranoia that 'Rosemary's Baby' and 'The Stepford Wives' capitalized on...Kim and Klavan, who balanced adventure and kids' social issues so well in City of Spies (2010), do the same in another well-rounded adventure here, as the far-out (and kind of gross) climax mixes with genuine insight into dealing with parents, fitting into a new crowd, and handling the pressures of performance."

"A quick and quirky graphic novel...A fun story--illustrated with excellent full-color artwork."
--School Library Journal


"A rollicking rollercoaster scary story...[A] moody, paranoiac fantasy chiller...Dark, seditious and creepily effective, this is a thriller with a bark and a bite that will satisfy the most demanding teen reader or aged savant."


"An undeniable nudge (resounding smack?) at all the preposterous things parents are willing to do to give their children any small step up on the ever-ridiculous road to so-called achievement..."
--Book Dragon blog

"This book would be an excellent, unqualified recommendation for anyone who wants to get a young person into comics... [B]ut it still has the power to entertain the older and more jaded among us. That's the kids' book's secret weapon: everybody was a kid once."

"It’s a fast read, slick and enjoyable, and when I was twelve I would have carried it around in my arms like a teddy bear...If 'Brain Camp'’s for kids, kids got cooler while I was away.”
- Matt Brown, Tederick.com.

"For any parent, teacher, or librarian who has ever wanted to recommend a graphic novel to a unique and exceptional student who stands out from the crowd, Brain Camp might just be your best bet."
--Katie's Korner, Graphic Novel Reviews for Schools and Libraries

"Deliciously gross. Reminiscent of those scary stories you like to share around the bonfire, you can't go wrong with this sweetly sadistic summer camp chiller."

"An appealing graphic novel, with good, anti-heroic protagonists and engaging artwork...Fun, if creepy."

"It's creepy stuff, made all the more chilling by tapping into those teenage fears that the world is out to get you, and authority figures—including parents—don’t have your best interests at heart...A compelling story that manages to tap into our memories of teen angst, and probably even strikes a nerve with actual teens today."

"It's a good briskly-paced read and I think Hicks' art is a great complement to the writing. Think of it as a "popcorn" movie -- a wacky, kind of scary thriller."

"Creepy and enjoyable. I had a great read with it and like any good Twilight Zone episode it has an ending with a twist."

"Lots of fun..The words and art work together perfectly to tell a really good story."

"It’s a great treat of a story...The teen leads are very likable and this should be a popular pick for teen librarians to show to readers..."
--Good Comics for Kids blog (School Library Journal)

"Wonderfully creepy story...A perfect entrance point to the world of comics and graphic novels."

"I love BRAIN CAMP...Complete with camp antics, a wee bit of romance, conspiring adults and plenty of aliens, BRAIN CAMP is a fun, quick read."

"Utterly and wonderfully bizarre...This book is really funny with just the right amount of creepy. It keeps you guessing and confused up until, you know, your mind is blown...The artwork is fantastic...This is a perfect summer read and I highly recommend checking it out."

"[A] terrifying take on everyone's favorite school break."
--RT Book Reviews

"[A] delightfully creepy suspense story with just the right amount of intrigue to keep its target teen audience on the edge of their seats."

"[A] smartly-written, fast-paced thriller of a story...Nice, understated satire of the labels and expectations that we place on kids and teens...[A] wonderful, short read that leaves out the boring bits and gives its readers the stuff they came for."

"I bought this book because of Hicks’ art, but loved the story Kim and Klavan crafted."

"Grabs readers by the throat. This is a sidesplitting, teen-oriented mystery read."

"This is an excellent one! The premise is super creepy, the points about love and companionship are poignant. I wish there was a sequel. Really great read for the summer!"

"The really intriguing part of this book [is] the feeling it carries of its characters being unacceptable to their families as they are. Love is not unconditional for the children who are sent to Camp Fielding. In the course of the book, we learn just how conditional it is. [It's] the mood that makes readers feel that these children are being thrown to the wolves by the adults who are supposed to love them simply because they can't conform to a standard of achievement that makes Brain Camp striking."

"At times it's a bit gross, other times it's hilarious. Read it, read it. Oh and read it."

"It's a really good comic and I really recommend it! It's kinda like Detentionaire meets the Hunger Games."

"Fantastic, suspenseful and quite clever. It’s also very creepy and weird (which is a great draw for me)....This book is the total package...I can’t wait to read more books from these guys!"

"Brain Camp was a fun, gross, terrifying, and exciting adventure geared toward older children and teens, though still a great read for just about anyone who's interested."

"This book was just plain sci-fi fun. I would guess this book is aimed at the middle grade crowd, but this middle-age woman thoroughly enjoyed it."

"Brain Camp is NOT for the faint of heart, and certainly is for those who love horror and sci-fi movies! There is some really gross stuff in here (but it's a good story)."

"Fabulous creepiness!"

"One would be mistaken for thinking that this is just a simple zombie adventure book...it ends up being a far more engaging and unique affair. I give it a “Highly Suggested” rating, and if you’re going to recommend it for your kid, make sure you’re not a domineering dick first."


First Second Books Graphic Novel May 2010
One of the Best Books of the Year for Children--
Scripps Howard News Service
Chosen for the Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List by the Texas Library Association

"A terrific adventure story...Rip-roaring fun."
--Publishers Weekly (starred)

"Told with seat-of-the-pants, graphic-novel immediacy, [this] is an artful melding of jewel-box illustration with noir atmosphere--Tintin directed by Hitchcock. Still, the story's slant is all its own...The snappy, uncluttered tale has a rousing visual flow and plot depth on a variety of fronts. Plus, the Nazis wind up swimming with the fishes. Pow! Pow! Pow!"
--Kirkus Reviews

"A sophisticated spin on classic boys' adventure...A tale filled not only with a thrilling sense of excitement but also with a child's longing for a grown-up to believe in."
--Booklist (Starred)

"A strong book...The plot is engaging...the tale has an authentic feel."
--School Library Journal

"A story with a lot more depth and emotion than I expected or even imagined...It's truly a beautiful, moving book. For both Young Adults and old ones. And it's got tons of super-heroics and spy smashing, too."
--ComicBook Resources.com

"[A] very winning graphic novel...A most satisfying read that I hope receives many accolades as the year continues."

"Kim and Klavan's story is thrilling, while the illustrations by Pascal Dizin (Hilary Sycamore added the color) pay wonderful homage to Herge's "Tintin" books."
--Seattle Times

"An exciting story in which two kids' spunk and ingenuity triumph over the adult bad guys...I look forward to seeing this team together again."
--Detroit News

"[An] excellent graphic novel—it has a great plot, interesting characters and fantastic artwork."

"It is hard to know which to praise more in 'City of Spies,' the grand, old-fashioned story crafted by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan, or the enchanting artwork by Pascal Dizin...The tale of Nazi spies in New York is full of a Golden-Age Hollywood ambiance, like some lost Hitchcock or Hawks film. Mixing romance, humor, suspense, and pathos, this graphic novel should be handed out to every young reader you know—after you’ve enjoyed it yourself."
--Asimov's Science Fiction

"[A] charming yarn...Dizin's bright, clean palette pops in this pitch-perfect portrait of wartime Gotham."
--AM New York

"Page-turning entertainment...A pleasant surprise."
--100 Scope Notes blog

"A winner...solid thrills...The book really worked on all levels for me."
--Comics Waiting Room 4.0 blog

"[A] wonderful story that brings back the olden days of comics...Recommended..."
--Chapters.Indigo.ca blog

"A wonderfully rich, action-packed story told in a classic style that is well-worth reading."
--The Underfold.com


Ballantine Hardcover February 2004
Ballantine Paperback February 2005
Available as an Audiobook from Sound Library

"A witty spoof...Klavan gleefully slices and dices every known specimen of the Hollywood film trade...Worth its weight in popcorn."
--Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

"Highly entertaining...Klavan knows his turf...Sure to put a smile on any movie buff's lips."
--Leonard Maltin

"Brimming with engaging tidbits of movie trivia...This tongue-in-cheek whodunit marks the long overdue second coming of a gifted novelist."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A lightning-paced, high-concept thriller...Astonishingly inventive...One of the best mysteries of the year!"
--Tess Gerritsen

"Something completely different...What a relief to read a murder mystery that does not feature a bullet-munching, tough-as-nails cop or private detective and a dame to kill for..."
--Cleveland Plain Dealer


Ballantine Hardcover March 2005
Ballantine Paperback May 2006
Available as an Audiobook from Sound Library

"Hilarious...[A] wholly entertaining sequel: a frenzied encore for suspense fans and an edifying indulgence for seasoned film buffs."
--Publishers Weekly

"Hard-boiled nerd Roy Milano is back in another screwball adventure...Enough delightful insanity to please fans of silly suspense (from Jonathan Lethem to Kinky Friedman.)"

"Another madcap adventure for the self-described 'trivial man'...Very funny...with a cast and crew of zanies."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Movie buffs will absolutely gorge on this smorgasbord of arcane silver screen trivia; THE SHOOTING SCRIPT is a sparkling, fast-paced jewel of a novel."
--Katherine Neville, author of The Eight

"Great fun and full of movie trivia...Klavan should have an endless supply of material for novels to come."
--Mystery Scene

"Fast action...Fun to read...Second in an up-and-coming mystery series tailor-made for film history buffs and movie lovers alike. Milano is a comic cross between a Dashiell Hammett gumshoe and a Woody Allen schlemiel."
--The Strand magazine

"Packed with old-movie references, this sequel to 'The Cutting Room' is a delicious read for movie and mystery fans."
--Chronogram magazine

"A cast of oddball characters scramble to get their hands on a copy of a lost Jerry Lewis film...The action moves at a crazy clip from New York City to L.A. to Amsterdam to upstate New York, with stops in Maine and Philadelphia. The digs at Hollywood are fun, and the hero's habit of reciting movie trivia when he's nervous is not only endearing, it's informative."
--Romantic Times magazine


Premiered at New York's Vineyard Theater
Winner of two Obie Awards, and Seven Drama Desk nominations including Best Book and Lyrics to a Musical, A Second-Place Best Musical nod from the New York Drama Critics Circle, and an Outer Critics Circle nomination for Best Musical
Produced by Philadephia's Wilma Theater: Winner of two Barrymore Awards
Published by Dramatists Play Service
Recorded by Fynesworth Alley
Produced by London's Finborough Theatre 2011: Nominated for Five Offie (Off West End) Awards, including Best Production

"A delight! First-rate! A classy treat! A new work that both honors the original and gives it a sternly funny stage life of its own."
--The New York Times

"Wonderful! A must-see! So perfectly done it is almost unfair to the rackety hacks who infest our musical theater."
--Michael Feingold, Village Voice

"Enchanting! Exquisite! A wholly original piece of musical theater!"
--Linda Winer, Newsday

"Fresh and endearing! As original as it is impudent! The show has jaunty music by Polly Pen and a jazzy text by Laurence Klavan."
--John Simon, New York Magazine

"An evening to treasure--a funny, touching, musically sumptuous jewel that speaks with equal ease to mind and heart."
--Philadelphia Inquirer

“This enchanting, boutique chamber musical is in every way a winner, not to be missed. It’s glorious theater and glorious music.”
--San Diego North County Times

"An absolute charmer...Entices from the first note."
--Denver Post

"Whether you are a fan of Soviet satire and Soviet films of the 20s or not matters not a bit to delight in Polly Pen and Laurence Klavan's faithful but oh so witty rendering of 'Bed and Sofa'...A shower of five stars for all."
--British Theatre Guide

"A startlingly honest and wonderfully expressive musical version of a lost art form..."
--London Fringe Review

"Polly Pen and Laurence Klavan’s quirky show is both original and unusual."
--Daily Express (UK)

"Marvelously inventive."
--Theatermania.com (London)


Premiered at Philadelphia's Wilma Theater
Published by Dramatists Play Service

"A lively, funny, and very smart musical...Klavan's clever book is well matched by Pen's music."

"An inventive musical...features Pen's explosive score and Klavan's exceptional book..."
--Philadelphia Weekly

"An offbeat, original, and enjoyable musical...[A] witty and knowing book...concise and imaginative songs."
--Philadelphia Inquirer

"A breathtaking 90-minute chamber musical...Cannot help but redefine the artistic boundaries of the musical theater."
--Reading Eagle


Premiered at New York's Ensemble Studio Theatre
Produced by Texas' Renaissance Guild Theater
Published by Dramatists Play Service

"Positively off-the-wall...Bizarre, funny...[A] surreal comedy lampooning fairy-tale-perfect love and the mindless hype of TV news...[A] mad, manic slap at hype."
--San Antonio Express-News


Premiered at New York's Manhattan Punch Line Theater
Produced by Philadelphia's People's Light and Theater Co.
Published by Dramatists Play Service

"A wonderful example of the one-act breed."
--The New York Times

"Slapstick, verbal burlesque."
--Village Voice


Premiered at New York's Manhattan Punch Line Theater
Published by Dramatists Play Service
The most produced short play in American high schools 2015-2016, according to Educational Theatre Association's Dramatics Magazine

"A wonderful piece for actors."
--New York Daily News

"A very funny and astute parable about the inability to break out of humdrum routine."
--The Bergen Record


Premiered at New York's Manhattan Punch Line Theater
Produced by New York's American Jewish Theater
Published by Dramatists Play Service

"Very funny lines...We learn that dying is no excuse to stop laughing."
--D. J. R. Bruckner, The New York Times

"Most entertaining...The ghosts...are a mischievious band."
--Mel Gussow, The New York Times

"Charm and dizzy surrealism."
--Back Stage


Premiered at New York's Manhattan Punch Line Theater
Published by Dramatists Play Service

"A stunning forty-five minute version of LA RONDE...[An] affecting melding of slyness and conviction...Each time they open their mouths, the characters reveal themselves, each with a poetic idiom of longing and cynicism."
--Village Voice


Premiered at Philadelphia's Festival Theater for New Plays
Produced by New York's Working Theater
Published by Dramatists Play Service