Jennifer Weiner is an inspiration to readers and writers everywhere with her touching women’s fiction novels and her messages of body positivity and self-esteem. Having spent over half a decade on the New York Times bestseller list, she’s a pro when it comes to writing books that people want to read.
Jennifer’s latest book, Mrs. Everything, is a powerful novel about two sisters who grow up against the backdrop of traumatic events from the 1950s to the present. Lucky for She Reads, we had the chance to interview Jennifer Weiner leading up to the book’s release and are honored to call her our June Guest Editor. Get to know Jennifer and stay tuned all month to learn more about the books she loves and the books she can’t wait to read next.
What was the inspiration behind Mrs. Everything?
Mrs. Everything was inspired by my mom. Like Jo Kaufman, my mother grew up in a middle-class Jewish family in Detroit. She went to the University of Michigan, married a doctor, and had four kids in the suburbs while the great upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s mostly passed her by. By the mid-1980s, she was divorced, and by the mid-1990s she’d fallen in love with a woman. She has spent the last sixteen years with her partner, Clair.
A version of my mother shows up in Good In Bed, but she’s very much played as a comic, supporting character (when I gave my mom the manuscript, I told her there was a character like her in it, and said I’d change anything that offended her except the name of the character’s softball team, which was Nine Women Out). I always knew that someday I’d go back to that story, of a woman who grows up and sees the world changing all around her, and how history looks through her eyes: where have we moved forward? Where have we gone back? How do we keep making the world better for women, and for men? The project felt a lot more urgent after the 2016 election!
Which authors do you admire most?
I admire Stephen King’s incredible output and his commitment to social justice. I think Susan Isaacs is who I want to be when I grow up. I admire Rita Mae Brown’s courage in writing a groundbreaking queer autobiography, Rubyfruit Jungle, one of the books I read as I was researching Mrs. Everything. And Toni Morrison is a queen.
What is the one essential you carry with you at all times during book tour/events?
My Kindle and a charger. Books are my escape and my comfort – especially when I’m traveling, doing a different city every day and an event every night.