A selection of unabridged stories from the bestselling author of Goodnight Nobody Jennifer Weiner's talent shines like never before in this collection of short stories, following the tender, and often hilarious, progress of love and relationships over the course of a lifetime. From a teenager coming to terms with her father's disappearance to a moving portrait of men's fears about commitment and love, Weiner's stories explore those transformative moments in our every day. We meet Marlie Davidow, home alone with her new baby late one Friday night, when she wanders onto her ex's online wedding registry and wonders what if she had wound up with the guy not taken. We stumble on Good in Bed's Bruce Guberman, liquored-up and ready for anything on the night of his best friend's bachelor party, until stealing his girlfriend's tiny rat terrier becomes more complicated than he'd planned. We find Jessica Norton listing her beloved New York City apartment in the hope of winning her broker's heart. And we follow an unlikely friendship between two very different new mothers, and the choices that bring them together -- and pull them apart. The Guy Not Taken demonstrates Weiner's amazing ability to create characters who "feel like they could be your best friend" (Janet Maslin) and to find hope and humor, longing and love in the hidden corners of our common experiences.
American author, Jennifer Weiner, was born in 1970 into a Jewish family in DeRidder, Louisiana. Her father was an army physician stationed there. In 1971, her family moved to Simsbury, Connecticut where Jennifer grew up, but at the age of 16, Jennifer's father abandoned his family. The divorce was very traumatic to Jennifer and her siblings. Her father died of a crack cocaine overdose in 2008. Then, her mother came out as a lesbian when she was 55 years of age.
After graduating high school, where Jennifer was one of only nine Jewish students in a class of 400, she attended Princeton University at the young age of 17. She graduated summa cum laude with an A.B. in English. She had written her thesis entitled, "Never Far From Mother- On the Uses of Essentialism in Novels and Films". Her thesis served her well in setting up her credentials for her current career. She studied under several notable, successful authors and playwrights. Her first published story appeared in Seventeen magazine, entitled, "Tour of Duty".
Jennifer Weiner's books have been on the NYT best sellers list for five years. She has sold 11 million copies in 36 countries. She has written op-eds for the Philadelphia Inquirer and the New York Times. Jennifer had two very popular op-eds for the Sunday Review.......Mean Girls in the Retirement Home and Another Thing to Hate About Ourselves. They have been reprinted in newspapers across the world. So used her platform to encourage women to improve their self-esteem and body images.
Jennifer's first novel, Good in Bed, was published in 2001, followed by, In Her Shoes, in 2002. The latter was made into a movie starring Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, and Shirley MacLaine.
My trust and admiration were earned quickly by the seemingly effortlessness of the prose, acute observations of things and people rendered plainly, so as to make them familiar, and dialogue so natural you'd swear you were listening in at a keyhole. These stories investigate the struggle to trust in the promise of contentment, a balance of independence (personal achievement) and compromise (love or marriage), in the wake of childhood experiences of loss or neglect. Weiner's magic is in taking those everyday physical details--the tight jeans and pink, nubby sweater or striped tie and creased pants--that finds us unquestioningly and rapidly pigeonholing someone into a comfortable socio-economic box. Her characters may judge one another, but Weiner doesn't. Her empathy is as far-reaching as her talent. Hence, she is able to crush that comfortable box and show the dimensions of character that ***umptions flatten. The clean unadorned writing exposes, in a flash, stroke, or dribble of melted ice-cream, characters' complex emotional and psychological states. Because Weiner's stories are character driven, the handful of less successful stories roll characters thinly, priority shifting to plot device or, in some stories, I suspect, to 'fact,' the triggering experience still rooted too firmly to biography, unwilling to let the art take seed. But even in these, Weiner cannot contain those moments of brilliance that make a character so real we find ourselves looking for that harried mother juggling a baby and latte at our favorite coffee house or the drunk boyfriend counting beer rings at our local pub.