Jennifer Cody Epstein
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Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Amherst College 1984-88;
Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) 1991-1993;
Columbia University School of the Arts (Writing Division) 1999-2003.
Amherst College Major
Favorite AC Class
English (any and all of them!)
Favorite AC Professor
It's a tie between Andy Parker and Sam Morse
Why did you choose to come to Amherst?
Honestly? I'm an alumni brat. I couldn't have imagined going anywhere else.
Awards and Prizes
Doshisha prize for best thesis 1988;
Amherst-Doshisha fellowship 1988-89
Oh, geez. There are so many: Nabakov, Morrison, Wharton, Roy (Arundhati), Murakami, McKewan, Kirshenbaum (Binnie)....I could go on.
Tips for aspiring writers?
WRITE. Sounds obvious, but you just have to sit down and do it--day after day, month after month. Even if you think (or if people tell you--as they almost certainly will) that what you're doing is no good. It can be a long, thankless and isolating process, so you have to be able to find joy in it for its own sake--regardless of whether you "succeed" commercially or not.
Additional information about the author
Jennifer Cody Epstein is the author of The Painter from Shanghai, an imaginative retelling of the life of Chinese prostitute-turned-post-Impressionist Pan Yuliang. Her fiction has also appeared in several literary magazines She has lived and worked in the U.S., Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Italy for publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Asian Wall Street Journal, Mademoiselle, Self and Parents, as well as for the NBC and HBO networks. She has a Masters in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in fiction from Columbia University, where she is an adjunct professor in the School of the Arts. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, filmmaker Michael Epstein, and their two daughters.