Jami Attenberg

Jami Attenberg (born 1971 in Arlington Heights, Illinois) is an American fiction writer and essayist. She is the author of a short story collection, six novels, including the best-seller The Middlesteins (2012), and a memoir, I Came All This Way to Meet You (2022).

Jami Attenberg
Headshot of Attenberg smiling at the camera. She wears curly hair shoulder-length with bangs and a floral-print top.
Attenberg at the 2017 Texas Book Festival
Born1971 (age 50–51)
Alma materJohns Hopkins University
OccupationWriter
Era21st-century
Notable work
The Middlesteins
Saint Mazie
All Grown Up
Websitejamiattenberg.com

Early lifeEdit

Attenberg was born in 1971 in Arlington Heights, Illinois.[1] She grew up in Buffalo Grove, Illinois,[2] and graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1993.[3]

CareerEdit

Attenberg worked at HBO (2000 to 2003)[1] before deciding to devote herself to fiction writing, initially supported by temp jobs.[4] Attenberg has also worked at WORD bookstore in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, a job she took after giving several readings at the store.[5]

FictionEdit

In 2006, Attenberg published a collection of short stories with Random/Shaye Areheart under the title Instant Love.[6] Two novels followed: The Kept Man (Riverhead, 2008)[7][8] and The Melting Season (2010).[9][10]

Following a change in publisher and accompanying marketing strategy (with subsequent works promoted not as women's fiction but instead as literary fiction, including a blurb from Jonathan Franzen on her third book),[4] Attenberg experienced a literary breakthrough in 2012 with her third novel The Middlesteins,[11][12][13][14] which became a New York Times bestseller[15] and was listed among the ten best-selling books on Amazon in 2012.[16] The book describes "a suburban Jewish family, and how it reacts to the disaster unfolding in its midst," Julie Orringer wrote in a New York Times review, with different chapters narrated from different characters' point of view.[17] The Middlesteins was translated into multiple languages and Attenberg was nominated for multiple literature awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize[18] and the St. Francis College Literary Prize.[19]

In 2015, Attenberg published her fifth book, Saint Mazie (Hachette).[20][21][22][23][24] Saint Mazie is a historical novel based on Mazie Gordon-Phillips, who lived in New York in the Jazz Age; the novel is written as her fictional diary discovered by a documentary filmmaker researching her life.[25] Buzzfeed listed Saint Mazie as one of the 27 "Most Exciting Books of 2015."[26]

Attenberg's next novel, All Grown Up, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the US in March 2017,[27][28][29][30][31] and in the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Holland in 2017–2018. All Grown Up tells the story of 39-year-old Andrea Bern, who is single and living in New York as her family cares for her terminally ill niece in New Hampshire. In The New York Times, Helen Schulman notes that like The Middlesteins, All Grown Up "is in part about choosing to save yourself even if that means letting down someone who really needs you."[32]

In October 2019, she published All This Could Be Yours.[33][34][35] It was selected as a "Publishers Weekly Pick" with a starred review.[36]

Non-fictionEdit

Attenberg's essays have been published in The New York Times,[37] The Wall Street Journal,[38] Vogue,[39] Elle[40] and Lenny Letter.[41] In January 2022, she published a memoir, I Came All This Way to Meet You;[42] in a review in The New York Times, Claire Dederer said the book reflected Attenberg's "gifts as a novelist: a fierce impulse toward honesty, a companionably cranky voice and an interest in the complicated, bobbing and weaving ways in which people navigate their desires."[43]

Personal lifeEdit

Attenberg lives in New Orleans, LA.[44]

BibliographyEdit

Short-story collectionEdit

  • Instant Love: Fiction. Shaye Areheart Books. 2006. ISBN 978-0-307-33782-5.

NovelsEdit

MemoirsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Jami Attenberg." Gale Literature: Contemporary Authors, Gale, 2018. Gale In Context: Biography. Accessed 15 January 2022.
  2. ^ "Chicago Reader: In The Middlesteins, Jami Attenberg shows you can go home again, by Aimee Levitt on June 7, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2016". Archived from the original on March 26, 2017. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  3. ^ Upholt, Boyce (2019-12-16). "All this is hers". The Hub. Johns Hopkins University. Retrieved 2022-01-15.
  4. ^ a b Freeman, Hadley (2017-03-24). "Jami Attenberg: 'I wanted to see if there were other happy endings for single women'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  5. ^ Sullivan, J. Courtney (2011-05-06). "Selling Books by Day, Writing Them by Night". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  6. ^ "Fiction Book Review: Instant Love by Jami Attenberg, Author . Random/Shaye Areheart $21 (267p) ISBN 978-0-307-33782-5". Publishers Weekly. April 3, 2006. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  7. ^ North, Anna (December 19, 2007). "Review: Wife cheered by househusbands in Attenberg's 'Kept Man'". SFGate. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  8. ^ "THE KEPT MAN by Jami Attenberg". Kirkus Reviews. December 1, 2007. Archived from the original on February 2, 2018. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  9. ^ "BookForum". Archived from the original on 2016-09-12. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
  10. ^ Oulton, Emma (February 14, 2017). "Show Yourself Some Love With These 14 Books". Bustle. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  11. ^ Corrigan, Maureen (November 20, 2012). "Hungry Hearts And Family Matters In 'Middlesteins'". Fresh Air. NPR. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  12. ^ Beresford, Lucy (2013-03-14). "The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg: review". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  13. ^ Kirsch, Adam (October 31, 2012). "A Middlemarch for Middle America". New Republic. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  14. ^ Hahn, Daniel (2013-02-10). "Review: The Middlesteins, By Jami Attenberg". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  15. ^ "Press section of author's website". Archived from the original on 2016-08-20. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
  16. ^ "Best Books of Year: Top 100 Picks for 2012". Amazon. 2012-11-28. Archived from the original on 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  17. ^ Orringer, Julie (2012-12-27). "'The Middlesteins,' by Jami Attenberg". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  18. ^ L.A. Times Archived 2015-08-02 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "SFC Announces Short List for $50,000 Literary Prize". www.sfc.edu. August 15, 2013. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  20. ^ Johncock, Benjamin (2015-07-01). "Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg review – a love letter to Jazz Age New York". the Guardian. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  21. ^ Gentry, Amy. "Review: 'Saint Mazie' by Jami Attenberg". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  22. ^ Cheuse, Alan (June 11, 2016). "'Mazie' Pays Homage To A Real-Life Saint Of The Streets". NPR. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  23. ^ Solomon, Anna (June 6, 2015). "Book review: Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg". Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  24. ^ Scholes, Lucy (2015-06-18). "Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg, book review: A big-hearted story of old". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  25. ^ Ingall, Marjorie (2015-06-09). "'Saint Mazie,' by Jami Attenberg". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  26. ^ Lee, Jarry (January 8, 2015). "27 Of The Most Exciting New Books Of 2015". BuzzFeed. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  27. ^ Felsenthal, Julia (March 7, 2017). "Jami Attenberg on All Grown Up and Why Adulting Is Overrated". Vogue. Archived from the original on 2018-01-06. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  28. ^ Jacobs, Emma (April 13, 2017). "All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg — loveless, actually". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  29. ^ Quinn, Annalisa (March 8, 2017). "'All Grown Up' Is The Picture Of Someone Who Isn't (And A Voice That's Nothing New)". NPR. Archived from the original on 2018-01-31. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  30. ^ Guest, Katy (2017-04-01). "All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg review – difficult, selfish, a true-to-life heroine". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  31. ^ Maran, Meredith (2017-03-02). "'All Grown Up,' by Jami Attenberg, is an X-ray of Gen X life". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  32. ^ Schulman, Helen (2017-03-09). "A Heroine Who Does Adulthood on Her Own Terms". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  33. ^ Libman, Ben (2020-04-03). "All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg review – the sins of the father". the Guardian. Archived from the original on 2021-01-22. Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  34. ^ Clarke, Brock (2019-10-21). "As a Father Lies Dying, His Family Reckons With Their Troubled Legacy". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2020-12-13. Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  35. ^ McAlpin, Heller (2019-10-23). "In 'All This Could Be Yours,' A Day In The Death Of A Toxic Narcissist". NPR. Archived from the original on 2020-12-02. Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  36. ^ "Fiction Book Review: All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-0-544-82425-6". Publishers Weekly. July 8, 2019. Archived from the original on 2020-09-20. Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  37. ^ "New York Times article search". Archived from the original on 2017-05-10. Retrieved 2017-09-09.
  38. ^ "Wall Street Journal: Novelist Jami Attenberg on Why Whiskey Is for Sharing". Archived from the original on 2017-03-26. Retrieved 2017-03-07.
  39. ^ "Vogue Contributor Page: Jami Attenberg". Archived from the original on 2016-09-15. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
  40. ^ "Elle Author Page: Jami Attenberg". Archived from the original on 2016-09-10. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
  41. ^ "Lenny Letter Author Page: Jami Attenberg". Archived from the original on 2016-10-03. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
  42. ^ "The Best Books of 2022: A Preview". Vogue. 2021-12-20. Retrieved 2022-01-15.
  43. ^ Dederer, Claire (2022-01-11). "Jami Attenberg's Memoir Is a Portrait of the Artist as a Born Writer". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2022-01-12. Retrieved 2022-01-13.
  44. ^ "In Jami Attenberg's 'All This Could Be Yours,' a Family Confronts Its Patriarch". Observer. 2019-10-28. Archived from the original on 2020-01-26. Retrieved 2020-01-26.

External linksEdit