Jami Attenberg, New York Times best-selling author, will be at Off Square Books today at 5 p.m. to sign and read her newest book, “All Grown Up.” The novel features a strong female lead, Andrea Bern, who defies gender stereotypes with her goals and lifestyle.
Attenberg explained her novel’s character as a strong and determined woman.
“She has no fantasy of getting married or starting a family – that’s just not where her head is at,” said Attenberg. “She’s striving simply to make and strengthen connections with the people around her, her friends, her family, her co-workers.”
Attenberg said her process of creating her memorable character came from her desire to see more characters like Andrea.
“I wanted to see a character like this,” she said. “I felt like I could learn from writing her, so I had to write her myself.”
Although the book is set in 2015, it was written to be relevant to the ever-changing roles of women in society. Attenberg enjoyed writing a modern novel, claiming, “It was a relief to not have to research a particular era and just let the book breathe and be itself.”
Attenberg started writing “All Grown Up” in the fall of 2015, and she considers it her “2016 election book” as she was doing most of her writing during that season.
With a writing degree from Johns Hopkins University under her belt, Attenberg published a collection of short stories entitled “Instant Love,” as well as novels “The Kept Man” and “The Melting Season.” In 2012, her novel “The Middlesteins” was listed among the ten best-selling books on Amazon. “The Middlesteins” became a New York Times Bestseller, and Attenberg was nominated for multiple literary awards like the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the St. Francis College Literary Prize. The story features a family living in the Chicago suburbs, and it explores the complicated dynamics within the unique, yet relatable family. In 2015, Attenberg wrote her fifth published book, “Saint Mazie,” which was listed by Buzzfeed’s “Most Exciting Books of 2015” list.
Attenberg is famous for weaving her witty, smart writing and beautiful storytelling into complex, sometimes exceptionally realistic and relatable characters and stories. She takes big issues and concepts like society’s examination of what it means to be an adult, and she gives you an imperfect embodiment of that in her star character, Andrea Bern.
For thoughtful, nuanced storytelling and wickedly humorous writing, pick up a copy of “All Grown Up,” and meet the author behind it all.