The 200th anniversary of Austen's death is marked this week, and I had the chance to write about why I think we ought to revisit the legend of her hiding her writing in the July 16th New York Times. My op-ed, "Jane Austen Wasn't Shy," appeared in the Sunday Review. As if that weren't good fortune enough, my book, The Making of Jane Austen, was reviewed by Jane Smiley in the Book Review that day, too. It's an honor to be a part of our conversations about her during this momentous week.
MJA in The Economist
Thanks to The Economist for devoting space to describing material from The Making of Jane Austen in the July 15th issue's essay, "Fame and Favourability: Jane Austen, 200 Years On."
I'm sorry. Did you say Jane Smiley reviewed my book in the New York Times Book Review? Is this one of those MasterCard commercials with "Priceless" at the end? So pleased that Smiley took the time to read and assess and that she uses the words "energetic," "revealing," "amusing" and "vivid". Watch for the print version of the story in the 16 July issue of the paper.
Thanks, Wall Street Journal!
Check out the July 8-9 Wall Street Journal for a review of four new Jane Austen books, including The Making of Jane Austen. Reviewer D. J. Taylor calls the book "fascinating." (Okay, okay, he also calls it "quaintly demotic," but I'll take it!) Although the article is behind a paywall, you may get a glimpse of it here.
Thank you, Literary Review
Thanks, Literary Review, for including The Making of Jane Austen in your "All About Austen / Austenmania" review and calling it "lively" and "refreshingly free of any cod-Austen gentility."
Thank you, Foreword Reviews
Thank you, Foreword Reviews, for your review of The Making of Jane Austen as a book that is "fascinating" and "lovingly unveils Austen’s posthumous journey."
"This book is refreshingly free of any cod-Austen gentility." Thanks, Literary Review, for including The Making of Jane Austen in your omnibus "All About Austen / Austenmania" review in the July issue.
The Making of Jane Austen by Devoney Looser
Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017
Is It right for your book club?
Yes, definitely! The paperback edition now includes a brief reader's guide with discussion questions. I'd love to hear from you if you're considering choosing it.
This book works best in clubs familiar with Austen's fiction OR its film adaptations. (You could read or watch Pride and Prejudice and then choose this book.)