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- March 2014: Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece
- February 2014: Forged: Why Fakes are the Great Art of Our Age
- January 2014: Full Upright and Locked Position by Mark Gerchick '73, P'13
- December 2013: This Indian Country by Fred Hoxie '69
- November 2013: The Partner Track by Helen Wan '95
- October 2013: The Forage House by Tess Taylor '99
- September 2013: Inferno by Dan Brown '86
- August 2013: Six Years by Harlan Coben '84, P'16
- July 2013: The Gods of Heavenly Punishment by Jennifer Cody Epstein '88
- June 2013 - Brothers Emanuel by Ezekiel Emanuel '79
- May 2013 - Cadaver by Jonah Ansell '03
- April 2013 - Masters of Disaster by Chris Lehane '90
- March 2013 - Schroder by Amity Gaige
- February 2013: El Iluminado by Ilan Stavans
- January 2013: Everything Under the Sun by David Suzuki '58
- December 2012: Arcadia by Lauren Groff
- November 2012: The Hidden Europe by Francis Tapon '92
- October 2012: The Price of Inequality by Joseph Stiglitz '64
- September 2012: Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum '99
- August 2012: Hitlerland by Andrew Nagorski '69
- July 2012: Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach '93
- June 2012: Vineyard at the End of the World by Ian Mount '92
- May 2012: God's Jury by Cullen Murphy '74
- April 2012: Big Birthday by Kate Hosford '88
- March 2012: EyeMinded by Kellie Jones '81
- February 2012: 1493 by Charles Mann '76
- December 2011: The Vices by Lawrence Douglas
- November 2011: Don't Cross Your Eyes by Aaron Carroll '94
- October 2011: Come On All You Ghosts by Matthew Zapruder '89
- September 2011: The Pale King by David Foster Wallace '85
- August 2011: Scoundrels in Law by Cait Murphy '83
- July 2011: Terror and Wonder by Blair Kamin '79
- June 2011: What Should I Do? by Professor Alex George
- May 2011: Model Nazi by Professor Catherine Epstein
- April 2011: A Thread of Sky by Deanna Fei '99
- March 2011: Unlikely Allies by Joel Paul '77
- February 2011: Secret Historian by Justin Spring '84
- December 2010: The Best of Foxtrot by Bill Amend '84
- November 2010: Higher Education? by Andrew Hacker '51
- October 2010: Routes of Man by Ted Conover '80
- September 2010: The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick '75
- August 2010: Innocent by Scott Turow '70
- July 2010: Simple Fresh Southern by Matt and Ted Lee '93
- June 2010: Ballet's Magic Kingdom by Professor Stanely Rabinowitz
- May 2010: Ecological Intelligence by Daniel Goleman '68
- April 2010: Andean Express by Adrian Althoff '04
- March 2010: Freefall by Joseph Stiglitz '64
- February 2010: Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl '89
- December 2009: What to Read When by Pam Allyn '84
- November 2009: On Poets and Poetry by William H. Pritchard '53
- October 2009: Julie & Julia by Julie Powell '95
- September 2009: Rules for Old Men Waiting by Peter Pouncey
- August 2009: The End of Overeating by David Kessler '73
- July 2009: The Mirror Effect by Dr. Drew Pinsky '80
- June 2009: Art and Politics of Science by Harold Varmus '61
- May 2009: Hold Tight by Harlan Coben '84
- April 2009: Passing Strange by Marni Sandweiss
- March 2009: Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian '82
- February 2009: Loneliness as a Way of Life by Tom Dumm
- January 2009: Painter from Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein '88
- December 2008: The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff '01
- November 2008: The Most Famous Man in America by Debby Applegate '89
- October 2008: The Thing Itself by Dick Todd '62
- September 2008: Are We Rome by Cullen Murphy '74
About the Author: Jenny Rosenstrach '93
Westchester County NY
Place of Birth
New York, NY
Why did you choose to come to Amherst?
It was a combination of things -- the first was its sheer beauty. The first time I visited the campus was on one of those postcard New England fall weekends and I remember looking out on the Athletic Fields walking down Memorial Field and thinking that something special was going on. Also, I chose Amherst because it was small -- barely bigger than my high school -- and the intimacy of that really appealed to me.
And then there was the all-you-could eat brunch on Sundays in Valentine which blew my small mind.
Favorite (most memorable or most influential) class at Amherst:
I took a creative writing class with Caz Phillips my senior year. He taught me to take risks and break out of the academic style I was so used to by that point. I don't want to say I exactly found my voice (that wouldn't happen for at least another 15 years and now I fear I've misplaced it again) but he definitely got me started in the right direction.
Favorite (most memorable or most influential) professor
How does one answer this question? Do people actually give you one particular writer? If so, I guess today at this very moment I have to be boring and say anything by Jonathan Franzen. I wish that "The Corrections" and "Freedom" had both gone on for another 900 pages. But if you ask me this question last year, it was Haruki Murakami and the year before that it was Lionel Shriver.
See above. But also, when I'm in a rut, I usually go back to read and re-read the same writers whose voices I love -- and they are each so wildly different from each other. The first is almost always Matthew Klam's "Sam the Cat" which is a collection of short stories and which includes the seminal "Issues I Dealt with in Therapy." (If you haven't read, please remedy immediately.) He is always writing from the point of view of a guy who's kind of sad-sack and cocky at the same time, and yet I can't help but root for him. Catcher in the Rye is another one I can tear through in a few hours and that pays off in rich inspirational dividends! Although I have to admit, I used to read it and say "Salinger makes writing look so easy" then "I'm going to pick up my pen and start writing immediately!" But now I know better and when I finish it I usually think "Man oh man, writing like that is so damn hard" and then "I think I should maybe retire right now."
Tips for aspiring writers?
Write everyday even if no one is reading. Writing a blog is so good for that. It forces you to be on deadline (I'd never write otherwise) and it keeps those muscles nimble. I read some of the posts I wrote two years ago and I can't believe how different I sound. It's like as though a photographer changed the way she lights his set-ups. It just feels so different and that's part of the fun of the trade -- the evolution.
Tell us a bit about your path to becoming an author.
It has been a very perilous journey. I was a women's magazine editor for a long time first and didn't write as much as edit. But when I did write, it was mostly service-driven copy. In other words, I could never write something with the sole intent of a reader just enjoying writing for the sake of writing. Everything I wrote had to have some kind of "takeaway," like a recipe or a tip or a recommendation to buy something. At times it could be pretty soul-crushing stuff, but in the end I think this kind of training really helped me convince people to get on board with my blog and book. Because if the goal of the blog and the book is to inspire people to get into the kitchen and cook something, there's really no getting around the service component. One of my old bosses called my writing "service with a soul." I'll definitely take that.
Jenny Rosenstrach is the creator of Dinner: A Love Story, the website devoted to family dinner, the author of (most recently) Dinner: A Love Story (Ecco, 2010). For four years, she was the features director at Cookie magazine, Conde Nast’s lifestyle magazine for parents, and prior to that, a special projects editor at Real Simple where she launched the first special issue of Real Simple Family. Her essays and articles have appeared in numerous national publications and anthologies including Real Simple, Cookie, Martha Stewart Living, Whole Living, the Op-Ed page of the New York Times, and Bon Appetit where she writes a regular family food column with her husband, Andy Ward. Since Dinner: A Love Story launched, she has been the subject of profiles in the New York Times, Whole Living, and Everyday Food and has appeared on NBC's Today Show and NPR's Weekend Edition. In January 2011, she signed an option with Imagine Television to develop the website into a sitcom.