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The Writing Life


Jean Hanff Korelitz
The Plot, You Should Have Know (aka The Undoing)

Jean Hanff Korelitz is the author of the novels The Plot, You Should Have Known (which aired on HBO in October 2020 as The Undoing, starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, and Donald Sutherland), Admission (adapted as a film in 2013 starring Tina Fey), The Devil and Webster, The White Rose, The Sabbathday River and A Jury of Her Peers, as well as Interference Powder, a novel for children. Her company BOOKTHEWRITER hosts Pop-Up Book Groups in which small groups of readers discuss new books with their authors. She lives in New York City with her husband, Irish poet Paul Muldoon.

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Order book here: Bookshop.org 

Lily King
Writers & Lovers

Lily King’s newest novel Writers & Lovers was a instant New York Times bestseller, a Today show Book Club pick and a 2020 New York Times notable book. Her book Father of The Rain was a New York Times Editors Choice, a Publishers Weekly Best Novel of the Year and winner of the 2010 New England Book Award for Fiction and the Maine Fiction Award. The English Teacher won the Maine Fiction Award, was a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Book of the Year and a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year. Her first novel, The Pleasing Hour, won the B&N Discover Award, was a New York Times Notable Book and an alternate for the PEN/Hemingway Award. King is also the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award. She lives with her husband and children in Maine.

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Order book here: Bookshop.org


So what makes a writer successful? We hear about big splashy seven-figure deals, but those are definitely outliers in the industry. For the majority of authors, the true answer to that question is “not enough,” which goes to show writing the books you love is often a labor of love for the authors themselves. In Jean Hanff Korelitz’s book The Plot, Jacob Finch Bonner was once a promising young novelist with a respectably published first book. Today, he’s teaching in a third-rate MFA program and struggling to maintain what’s left of his self-respect; he hasn’t written―let alone published―anything decent in years. When a student announces he doesn’t need Jake’s help because the plot of his book in progress is a sure thing, Jake is prepared to dismiss the boast. But then . . . he hears the plot. 

In Lily King’s Writers & Lovers, Casey, now 31,  is still holding onto her dream of being a novelist. Most of her artist friends have given up their artist dreams for more practical, and lucrative, endeavors; but Casey writes and makes ends meet by waitressing and walking her landlord’s dog. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she’s been writing for six years. 

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