Download this PDF for discussion questions.
Author Betsy Robinson would be happy to attend local (NYC area) meetings or skype to nonlocal meetings.


“…the wit of Zelda's narrative voice as created by novelist/​playwright Betsy Robinson will allow her to connect and be recognized in the world of readers' imaginations. A seriocomic fictional memoir about a runaway from upstate New York who risked her life simply by choosing to live it."

“Betsy Robinson's writing constantly has a 'Mark Twain-esque' under current flowing through it: direct, call-a-spade-a-spade honesty, that had me laughing, while I actually wanted to cry. She has a chutzpah to her that I have not found in any female author anywhere, anytime, ever. She has a new devoted admirer in me, for sure."
Something Wordy Blog (whole review contains spoilers)

"A rather inspiring story from a character delivering her memoir with gusto, bringing you to tears one minute ... bouts of laughter the next minute. Zelda strikes a cord long after the book is placed on the shelf."

"What an unexpected gem of a book."

". . . an entertaining romp, both raucous and endearing, rich with wit and observation. It is funny and foul, dark, but lightly, a bit disturbing, but only slightly. There’s much to enjoy in this book."


An interview about writing: I Just Write

Essay: Me and My Electra Complex

Article: Absent Mother Novels

Writing Craft Blog/​Interview: Black Lawrence Press for National Novel Writing Month

Me, getting the news that I won the Big Moose Prize

Black Lawrence Press
Small Press Distribution
Barnes & Noble

Here's Zelda's official
Facebook page: Zelda McFigg.
And here is Twitter (@​ZeldaMcFigg)
And here's Google+

Phew. As Zelda would say, all this social nattering can give a girl a headache.

A Note about Why I Write What I Write

paperback: 978-1-62557-921-8
ebook: 978-1-62557-922-5
Distributor: SPD

Zelda's Esteemed and Deceased Bicycle

The Book Party

The Last Will & Testament of Zelda McFigg

Irreverent Fighter? Fine with Flaw? Zelda Phobe?

A 3-question test to determine whether you and Zelda McFigg will be friends.

Irreverent Fighter

One who laughs while fighting for a cause. One who prefers humor to rage, but is not afraid to fight. You may love The Last Will & Testament of Zelda McFigg, Black Lawrence Press's Big Moose Prize-winning funny novel. (See http:/​/​​Last-Will-Testament-Zelda-McFigg/​dp/​1625579217)

Fine with Flaw

One who recognizes his or her imperfections, as well as everybody else's. You may love The Last Will & Testament of Zelda McFigg, Black Lawrence Press's Big Moose Prize-winning funny novel. (See http:/​/​​Last-Will-Testament-Zelda-McFigg/​dp/​1625579217)

Zelda Phobe

One who believes he or she is mostly right, where others are wrong. One who is repulsed by grossness and bad (possibly felonious) behavior. One who would rather be right, progressive, and certain of it than wrong and laughing about it. Absolutely do not waste your money on The Last Will & Testament of Zelda McFigg. It will most likely piss you off.

Do you enjoy laughing about things that embarrass you?



Would you rather be imperfect than always right?



Do you agree or disagree with this statement: The world is a serious place and I am a serious person.



Launched in September/October 2014 from Black Lawrence Press, and winner of Black Lawrence Press's 2013 Big Moose Prize for the novel.

Advance Praise

“Ingenious comic author Betsy Robinson, in finely wrought prose, tells the life story of Zelda McFigg. Zelda is a heavyweight, seemingly guided or misguided by a ruinous wrath and the feeling that dishonesty is the best policy. Robinson designs a remarkable pilgrimage for Zelda and uncovers under her many, many layers, a sorrowful affectionate heart.”
Susan Trott, author of The Holy Man series and many other books

“Zelda is an iconic voice of our media-struck age, ferociously trying to rectify the gross injustice of her non-celebrity. A character angry, proud, and desperate to be seen.”
John Sayles, writer and filmmaker

“A thoroughly delightful new novel—in parts funny, tragic, angry, heartbreaking, caustic, absurd and totally all-too true. A comic geshrei from the heart, and pleasure from first page to last!”
—Steve Kaplan, script consultant, author of The Hidden Tools of Comedy

“I couldn’t put it down . . . I was amazed at the originality . . . I enjoyed how Zelda made it through the world. She is a person I’ve never, in my wildest imagination, ever known before.”
Jonathan Storm, former critic for Philadelphia Inquirer

“What a delightful and wild and unpredictable narrator! Zelda McFigg is as original and intriguing as her name. I root for her during all the unexpected turns. I laughed a lot — which I rarely do reading fiction. Zelda McFigg is a classic — a totally compelling and unforgettable character!”
Patty Dann, author of Starfish, Mermaids, and many other books

“In the deft, witty, highly conscious hands of novelist (and theatre veteran) Betsy Robinson, the excruciatingly wild ride of The Last Will & Testament of Zelda McFigg becomes an act of seduction. (And Zelda thought she was writing a memoir!) Never staying in one place too long, which is more than can be said of its anti-heroine, Zelda, the novel's tone is as reliably unreliable as all of its scarred characters. If there is really nothing to hang on to, it must be a little like life, or death, or trying to create something. Betsy Robinson is alive, and kicking.”
Estha Weiner, poet and teacher

“I loved this novel! The writing is glorious, the vocabulary a delight to follow. I laughed—I rooted, I could not put it down. It's unique and funny and odd and beautiful. Two writers have made me laugh out loud: Martin Amis and David Sedaris. Now Betsy Robinson!”
—Maureen Phillips, TV producer

“Wonderful three dimensional characters who will be remembered long after the last page is read.”
—Devin McKay, deputy chief librarian, Queensborough Community College

“A rollicking romp. The development of the characters seems true to life in a demented sort of way, and involves more than one ironic twist. In an off-the-wall style reminiscent of Vonnegut and Brautigan, Robinson interjects many 'where-did-that-come-from moments' into her book. You scratch your head, and then you smile.”
—John Volkman, librarian, Fresno schools

Who’s Zelda?

Cousin to Ignatius J. Reilly (A Confederacy of Dunces) and Homer Simpson, Zelda McFigg believes she could have been somebody, if only someone had recognized her inner beauty and star quality. She runs away from home at age 14, and at age 49 ¼ writes this furiously funny memoir to “set the record straight.”

To Receive News

Sign up for the newsletter. I almost never send them out, so you won’t get a lot of junk. I promise. (Make sure to confirm your subscription when you get an automatic email . . . which will probably land in your spam folder.)

Selected Works

Big Moose Prize-winning novel
a funny, sometimes sad, story of negotiating life without a clue

New on Kindle--a funny book for foodies who are committed to self-change through self-awareness
an epistolary memoir ... sort of
A funny and moving little book for anyone who's had a mother or struggled with being human.
anthology of stories and plays
includes Darleen Dances and stories below

1-act play

short story
the problem with worrying about the future

true story
Why I don't believe in death.

Editing Services

Quick Links