Kristan Hoffman

writing dreams into reality

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Jennifer Weiner on writing, feminism, and her daughters

Last month, I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to go see Jennifer Weiner at Joseph-Beth Booksellers. I needed a little pick-me-up, and there’s something so inspiring about watching an author interact with her fans. Especially when the author is as smart, funny, and genuine as Jennifer.

Jennifer Weiner at Joseph-Beth 002


  • “I think it would probably be easier to get my books made into movies if they were about skinny women falling in love … but that’s just not what speaks to me.”
  • She writes to explore topics and themes, not promote a specific viewpoint.
  • That said, feminism definitely informs her characters. They live “realized feminist lives” — with choices — and those choices have consequences.
  • “We live in a world where, if you’re a woman who expresses a strong opinion, there are 3 possible responses:
    (1) I agree.
    (2) I disagree.
    (3) You should be raped and murdered.”
  • Someone asked Jennifer when she felt that she had “made it.” She said it wasn’t when she got a book deal, or a starred review, or even when she hit the bestseller list. It was when she championed Sarah Pekkanen’s debut and helped Sarah hit the bestseller list. Jennifer said she felt her own success most strongly when she helped others achieve their dreams.
  • “To be a writer, you have to have thick skin, but you also have to be exquisitely sensitive.”
  • Last but not least…

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  1. I saw Jennifer last year (at an event with Sarah Pekkanen, actually) and really enjoyed hearing her insights. She’s such an amazing champion for writing and feminism. You just can’t help being inspired, you know?

    • Oh, how funny! Maybe they’ve become friends. And yes, Jennifer is great. I’ve seen her once before, in a panel setting, so I knew I was in for a treat. :)

  2. I’m sorry I missed hearing her speak. I enjoy her writing and like you, Kristan, love to watch/hear authors interact with their readers. Thanks for the recap!

    • Aww! I know, I’m always missing great authors because I forget to check in with Joseph-Beth’s schedule… Glad you enjoyed the recap though!

  3. This looks like a cool bookstore! Glad that so many people are excited about authors and writing.

    • Jonathan-
      Joseph-Beth is one of my favorite bookstores! And not just because I got engaged there… ;P

  4. “skinny women falling in love” with guys, specifically (though the guys don’t have to be so skinny).

    I just saw a survey today and women falling in love with each other, even skinny, are still pretty underrepresented.

  5. I was just watching DEBS, so it was on my mind. That’s a fun movie, but it didn’t exactly start a trend. :-)

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