Maria Semple

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Today Will Be Different

Part of Elle's Best Autumn Reads book
US & Canada Little, Brown & Company (Ed. Judy Clain)
UK & Comm Weidenfeld & Nicolson (Ed. Arzu Tahsin)
Sep 2016

One of Buzzfeed's 21 Incredible New Books You Need To Read This Fall

From the author of the national bestseller Where’d You Go, Bernadette, a genius novel about a day in the life of a woman forced to abandon her small ambitions and awake to a strange, new future.

Eleanor Flood knows she’s a mess. Today, though, she will tackle the little things. She will shower and put on real clothes. She will go to her poetry and yoga lessons after dropping off her son, Timby, at school. She will eat lunch with someone she’d prefer not to. She won’t swear. She even will initiate sex with her hand surgeon husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action—life happens. 

Today, it turns out, is the day Timby has decided to fake sick to weasel his way into his mother’s company. It’s also the day Joe has chosen to tell his receptionist—but not Eleanor—that he’s on vacation. Just when it seems like things can't go more awry, an encounter with a former colleague produces a relic from the past—a graphic memoir whose dramatic tale threatens to reveal a buried family secret.

With all the artistic madness and brilliant plotting that made Bernadette a hit, Today Will Be Different is a hilarious and heart-filled story, about reinvention, sisterhood, and how sometimes it takes facing up to our former selves to truly begin living.


Claire Nozieres manages the translation rights for Today Will Be Different

Audio Rights


The audio rights are handled by Liz Farrell.

Film Rights


Contact Anna Stein for more information

Translation Rights Sold

Chinese Simple
Beijing Xiron Books
Politikens Forlag
Editions Plon
btb/Random House Verlag
Modan Publishers
Edizioni Piemme
Editora Teorema
Editora Intrinseca
Alianza Editorial
Etta Forlag

In this brilliant depiction of a woman hanging on by her fingernails, Maria Semple delivers a perfect panic of a day on which the barely tolerable, muddle-through-it desperation that so many of us have known at one time or another suddenly erupts with life-shattering force. Can an existential crisis make us laugh? Such is Semple's talent that this one does, without losing any of the punch or gravity of the hardest kinds of lived experience.

Ben Fountain, author of Brief Encounters With Che Guevara
Full Review

Few will be indifferent to this achingly funny and very dear book. This author is on her way to becoming a national treasure.

Kirkus (starred)
Full Review

Today Will Be Different is so unique, so smart, so funny, so beautifully humane, so utterly of our times, it's astonishing.

Gillian Flynn
Full Review

Hilarious and perceptive . . . a story of life-affirmation for everyone


Hilarious and touching . . . Give this to readers of women's fiction, Seattle denizens and aspiring residents, and people reviewing their lives and choices.

Alene Moroni
Full Review

Whipsmart, dazzling, darkly comic and deeply touching. I loved it!

Marian Keyes

Semple's descriptions - no surprise to her fans - are loopy, deeply, darkly funny and brave.

Washington Post

Outrageously funny . . . Semple's descriptions of Seattle continue to be priceless.

Janet Maslin
The New York Times

[Today Will Be Different] takes place in less than 24 hours, but packs in more twists, jokes and genuinely moving dialogue than anyone has the right to expect... Hilarious, moving and written perfectly, and it makes a good case for Semple as one of America's best living comic novelists.

It’s a vivid, hilarious, remarkably compact book—271 pages’ worth of crisp observations and occasionally too-close-to-home truths about modern relationships.


Peppered with unforgettable one liners, laugh-out-loud funny observations, and plenty of those little truths we all think to ourselves but never say out loud. Eleanor's outlook on life, her internal dialogue and the conversations she carries out with others — all brought to life on the page through Semple's whipsmart writing — will have you blinking back tears.


An entertaining read that feels smart the whole way through. I laughed, I introspected, and I learned a thing or two. My only complaint is that [Semple's] books are so good I can’t put them down and am quickly forced back into a waiting game for the next.


An unruly romp... Wholly enjoyable, even downright hard to put down.

USA Today

It's a day-in-the-life story of Eleanor Flood, another hilarious Seattleite stuck in her monotonous routine. My only complaint? I wanted to spend a year with Eleanor, or even a decade. And this is why we love Semple: Her stories are a little bit wacky and always wise, and we recognize people we know - including ourselves - on every page.


[A] funny, smart, emotionally reverberant novel.

New York Times Book Review

At times Today Will Be Different reads like a modern-day take on Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway, a lifetime captured in a single day, with people, places and events recalling days past. . . [It] is nothing short of a masterpiece, but best of all, it's satisfying to read something that seems to have been so much fun to write.

Boston Globe

In this brainy, seriously funny novel by the author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette, a Seattle woman confronts private school parents, a husband’s secret life and more.

The New York Times

Like a cross between Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections, the best episodes of Bob’s Burgers, and the private journal of the smartest, most irritable woman you know, Today Will Be Different is a reckless and scattershot work of genius

Heather Havrilesky

Semple’s rollicking page-turner/graphic novel blend was one of the most original books I read this year. Plus, I liked that Eleanor Flood was an imperfect character who didn’t have to commit chilling, unspeakable acts to turn the trope of the likeable female character on its head.

The Globe and Mail

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Claire Nozieres
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