Writer Jennifer Gilmore Intrigues Audience

Caroline Casey
Section Editor

“Be brave on the page!” visiting writer Jennifer Gilmore said as she concluded her lecture on March 28 in the Annenberg Library. Gilmore read from her newest novel, The Mothers, which will be available in April.

Gilmore’s book reflects her own life and are “definitely from my own experiences,” Gilmore said. The Mothers is a book about a couple that goes through the struggles of trying to adopt a child.

“I don’t usually write books that appear to track so closely with my life, but there was so much about the process of open adoption that I was attracted to as a novelist,” Gilmore said in Up Front by The Editors, an article for The New York Times.

Writer Jennifer Gilmore speaks to students about the inspirations for her novels during her talk in the library on March 28. (Photo by Alyssa Morreale)
Writer Jennifer Gilmore speaks to students about the inspirations for her novels during her talk in the library on March 28. (Photo by Alyssa Morreale)
“She gave a good perspective on being an adoptive parent,” Matthew Newman ’15 said.

Many of those who attended the reading appreciated the style and plot of her book.

“She spoke really well,” Anna Mucciarone ’15 said. “I also liked the way the book was written.”

After the reading, Gilmore entertained questions regarding her writing. Gilmore shared some useful knowledge and advice, such as using family and friends as a basis for characters in books: “The seed of someone you know, changed,” Gilmore said. She also added that “the more you write, the more you can teach your family how to read.”

Gilmore’s reading left a lasting impression in the audience.

“I would definitely be interested in reading her books in the future,” Mucciarone said.

Gilmore began her interest in writing when she inherited her grandmother’s scrapbooks that contained daily records, allowing her to learn to write in the past. Gilmore graduated from Brandeis University in 1992 and received her Masters of Fine Arts in fiction from Cornell University.

Although currently a novelist, Gilmore’s career began with writing short stories. Gilmore’s first two novels, Something Red and Golden Country, received commendable reviews. Gilmore also writes for The New York Times and salon.com and teaches at Princeton University.