Born to shanty Irish on one side and Park Avenue privilege on the other, Laura navigates a turbulent childhood filled with the alcohol-fueled abuse of her volatile father and her mother’s excessive drinking. As the middle child of three girls, she assigns herself the role of her mother’s protector, who dies when Laura is thirteen, leaving her heartbroken and adrift.
Insecure, anxious, and fearful, she tries drugs, random sex, and a sequence of lovers. Along the way she becomes a successful painter and has a bad first marriage. Nothing however seems to assuage her emptiness and her sense of loss. Eventually, she marries a caring man and has a loving daughter. It is only at the end of her life and by way of an unusual and unexpected turn of events that she is finally able to make peace with herself, to let go of the feeling that she never really grieved, and said goodbye to her beloved mother, and to appreciate that though we work at love and acceptance, sometimes the most wonderful experiences in our lives come in unanticipated and unsought ways.
About the author
Native New Yorker Annie O’Neill Stein moved to Los Angeles in the early eighties as an actress. After many small parts in TV series, from Miami Vice to Charlie’s Angels, she decided to follow her true passion, writing.
Being accepted to Sewanee Writers Conference to study with Alice McDermott planted the seed for Exit Wounds, her first novel.
Annie has written for several magazines, More, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Distinction, Folks and was a regular contributor to The Huffington Post for several years.
One of the things she’s proudest of is leading creative writing workshops with foster teens, which led to editing and publishing Beauty From Ashes, a collection of short stories and poetry written by foster youth.
She still lives in LA with her husband and has two grown daughters. Like most writers, she regards Exit Wounds as her other child.