08 April 2008

Five Fun Facts about Jennifer Weiner

"I like blogs. They're good times."
-Jennifer Weiner, April 8 '08*

Tonight I went to a reading at the Lincoln Center Barnes & Noble featuring author Jennifer Weiner, in support of her new book CERTAIN GIRLS. Her last novel GOODNIGHT NOBODY was one of my real page-turners of 2006, and I'm looking forward to picking up her new book which returns to the protagonist of her first book GOOD IN BED.

I doodled a few notes during the reading, as I am wont to do, and thought I might share them with you. Anything in quotes is a direct transcription from the Q&A tonight.

She would love to write a young adult novel. She's a fan of the genre and especially loved SPEAK and LOOKING FOR ALASKA. Something she's not dreaming of writing? A children's book.

She hates being described as "earthy." Also "bawdy" -- she feels like she's pigeonholed into what she called a "Wife of Bath" archetype by reviewers. She would prefer to be described as "trenchant" and "witty." At one point in the reading, she gave a trenchant analysis of the ur-contestant on "Rock of Love II."

She had almost nothing to do with the movie version of IN HER SHOES, and she's okay with that. She said she made a conscious decision to "be zen" about the fact that the movie version would be different from hers -- although she was not so zen when she heard star Toni Collette was having trouble gaining weight to play the lead role. "She had gained about 30 pounds and her publicist called and said, 'She's stuck.' ... Stuck?!" (She liked the movie version, by the way.) Two of Weiner's other novels and one short story have also been optioned for film.

She loves horror master Stephen King and also his son, Joe Hill King (singling out the book 20th CENTURY GHOSTS). Other favorite authors: Anne Lamott, Anne Tyler, Peter Straub. Two recent books she loved: Ruth Ozeki's ALL OVER CREATION and Max Apple's THE JEW OF HOME DEPOT AND OTHER STORIES.

She lives in a divided house... politically, that is. "[CERTAIN GIRLS] is set in an uncertain future, and my husband keeps lobbying me to include references to President Obama's second term. I'm a Hillary girl myself. She gets so picked on."

Bonus item: She mentioned during the reading that the Philadelphia Inquirer, her hometown newspaper, panned CERTAIN GIRLS (specifically, author Jane Smiley panned it). This is especially bittersweet, one would imagine, since Weiner used to work at the Inquirer. "My father-in-law called after he read the review and he said, 'They gave you a lot of space?'"

You can read an excerpt from CERTAIN GIRLS here or, if you live in Philadelphia, she is reading there tomorrow and Sunday.

*This quote comes from Weiner's answer to this blogger's question. Hey, small world!


Lara Ziobro said...

Hey there! Glad you found me and what a great summary you've got here. I was pretty dazed last night (and er tongue tied when trying to pose a question), so it was great to see all of the detail you have up here. Loved the blog quotation!!

Ellen said...

I was there, too! I got confused for a second Googling to see if anyone wrote about it, and thinking you were me. -- Another Ellen http://ennienyc.livejournal.com/222601.html

Marjorie said...

Read the Jane Smiley review--hmm. Methinks she gives Weiner too much of the blame for her book's covers.

Marjorie said...
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