jane austen

Happy 236th Birthday, Jane! Felicitations And Giveaway

Happy birthday, Jane!

Birthdays are a big deal…even more so when you’re turning 236, like the inimitable Jane Austen. I’m excited to participate in Austen’s Birthday Soiree today along with dozens of other Janeites worldwide…and to be giving away a copy of Potter-style Pride and Prejudice notecards to one lucky commenter! 

I’ve done lots of book events over the past few months, and the issue keeps coming up. Why is Jane Austen so revered and so relevant 236 years after her birth?

The answer is probably one that will annoy academics and occupy writers for centuries to come. In celebration

Speak, Author!

One of the best and weirdest parts of becoming a published author is being asked to speak.

If you’ve read The Heroine’s Bookshelf, you’ll know that I come from San Diego, CA. I never felt self-conscious about my speaking voice until I started my first year at Smith College in Massachusetts (I shall leave out the period of time I lived in Germany, which was another kind of speaking anxiety altogether). When I got to Smith, I didn’t just hear a bunch of new accents…I realized I had one, and that it had a kind of class/intelligence implication to some

Literature’s Worst Mothers…Just in Time for Mother’s Day!

I could probably write three books on crappy mothers in literature (not to mention the angelic ones like Caroline Ingalls or Marmee), but a simple blog post will have to suffice as I reflect on a few of literature’s most insufficient, yet appealing, moms.  Who would you add to this  list?

no wire hangers!Scarlett O’Hara, Gone With the Wind:  Scarlett is not beautiful, nor is she a good mother at all.  We can barely chasten Rhett Butler for telling her a cat is a better mother than she, for Mrs. Hamilton/Kennedy/Butler extravagantly neglects the sheepish son and the ugly daughter who

Artsy-Fartsy Friday: Pride and Prejudice Covers

It’s Friday, and my Google Image Search obsession is as strong as ever.  Since Friday is a day for fun, I hereby bring you the first in a series of Friday blogs about covers of books included in The Heroine’s Bookshelf.  First installment:  Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, originally published in 1813.  Click to enlarge these gems!

Original Pride & Prejudice Cover Pride & Prejudice - Signet Edition Most Boring Pride and Prejudice Cover Ever - Macmillan Pride and Predudice - Penguin - Illustration by Reuben Toledo Marvel Pride and Prejudice Cover - by Sonny Liew Pride and Prejudice 4 - Sonny Liew Twilight P&P..aaaaahhhh!

From left to right, top to bottom:

1)  First, a bit of history.  Here’s the original front page (they didn’t do fancy artsy covers in the early 1800s).

2)  is kind of a swinging late 60sish take on P&P (reminds me

Happy Birthday, Pride and Prejudice!

Today is the 197th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s immortal (so far) Pride and Prejudice, which is fittingly the very first book I dove into when writing The Heroine’s Bookshelf.  After all, what bibliophile in her right mind can really resist such a spirited, flawed, funny, sexy, and articulate heroine (and such an arch and fascinating authoress)?  In celebration of Lizzy Bennet’s debut into the literary world, here are some of my favorite links and factoids about the eternal P&P:

  • Jane began writing Pride and Prejudice when she was just 21 years old.  The book