The crux of TWIN PEAKS is Laura Palmer’s death, a death due to a family and town that let her down, that turned a blind eye, that didn’t reach out. LAURA’S GHOST: WOMEN SPEAK ABOUT TWIN PEAKS is a collection of essays and interviews about women who have worked on, or been affected or influenced by TWIN PEAKS, conceptualized by, interviewed by, and collected by Courtenay Stallings.
It’s primarily focused on the film prequel, TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME, as well as Jennifer Lynch’s gut-punch of a novel THE SECRET DIARY OF LAURA PALMER (which created the foundation that would become TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME), but there’s plenty of discussion about the original series, as well as TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN.
While it does feature interviews and discussions with Sheryl Lee, Jennifer Lynch, Grace Zabriskie, and Sabrina S. Sutherland (Lynch’s “right-hand woman”, to use Stalling’s own words), the bulk of the book is focused on those involved in the fandom of TWIN PEAKS. Not all of the interviews are about relating to Laura’s sexual abuse and incest, but several women certainly do share their experiences, and most interviews and pieces note how Laura helped them process their own trauma and abuse. Especially noteworthy is film essayist Willow Catelyn Maclay’s piece, NORTHERN STAR but they’re all worth your time.
It’s a fantastic and insightful collected work that may change how you perceive the series, or may have you nodding your head and commiserating over shared trauma, or perhaps both.
I highly suggest purchasing it via media writer Matt Zoller Seitz’s online bookstore. He’s a fantastic booster of intelligent, non-CIS-white dude pieces on film and TV — I wouldn’t have heard about this book if it weren’t for him — plus, you get a signed copy.