The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Jennifer Weiner and fans bond at New York reading as she promotes new novel, 'All Fall Down'

  • Print

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Jennifer Weiner had so much to share with her readers.

The author of such bestsellers as "Goodnight Nobody" and "In Her Shoes" spoke before around 100 fans Tuesday at a Barnes & Noble on Manhattan's Upper West Side. They came out on a humid evening for the chance to learn more about her new novel, "All Fall Down," and to hear the latest from a woman they think of as a friend, whose stories are in some ways their stories.

"She's very relatable, especially for young women," said Shira Zeif, 32, a kindergarten teacher. "She gets very personal with her characters and you feel like you know her, too."

As her followers on Twitter would have already learned, Weiner has been in a good place. "All Fall Down" has received strong reviews, with her hometown Philadelphia Inquirer calling it her best, and is in the top 40 on Amazon.com. The new book, Weiner explained Tuesday, tells of a woman who seemingly has everything — a big house, a husband and daughter, growing fame as a blogger — yet finds herself increasingly unhappy, hooked on painkillers and eventually forced to get clean at a rehabilitation centre.

It was a story so wrenching that Weiner dropped her usual happy resolutions for a more ambiguous ending.

"You can't pick up a newspaper or a magazine without the issue slapping you in the face," said Weiner, who spoke on stage with Hoda Kotb of NBC's "Today's Talk." But, of course, the book is also personal. She noted that her family has a "boatload of mental illness" and talked about her father, who left when Weiner was a teenager, saying he wanted to be a "fun uncle" instead. Years later, she would receive a call from police in Connecticut informing her that her father had died and, to her shock, had been using crack and heroin.

"He's not a jazz musician," Weiner remembered thinking. "He's a Jewish psychiatrist."

The audience, virtually all women, commiserated, laughed and rooted for her. They loved the story of how a devastating breakup inspired her to write her debut novel, "Good in Bed," and how she got a contract with Simon & Schuster after numerous rejections.

They nodded in sympathy when Weiner, the mother of two children, spoke of adjusting her writing time to family life. They have followed her very public campaign to get more women reviewed in New York Times and other newspapers and magazines, and applauded when Weiner revealed that The Times, which had long ignored her work, would be praising "All Fall Down."

Interviewed by The Associated Press after the event, Weiner said that when she first gave readings she assumed about 12 people would show up, "eight of them women she knew from Weight Watchers." She has long learned not only to make peace with fame, but to thrive on it, whether tweeting live updates about "The Bachelor" or fretting about what critics think of her. She doesn't see social media and publicity tours as distractions from her work, but as extensions of it, an ongoing dialogue between herself and her fans.

"They feel like they know me, and in a way they do," Weiner, 44, told the AP. "A lot of times, I feel like I'm talking to a bunch of people I went to summer camp with."

History

Updated on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 11:40 AM CDT: Updates photo.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Cheapskate: Cheap summer weekends

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose heads for shade in the sunshine Friday afternoon at Woodsworth Park in Winnipeg - Day 26– June 22, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A water lily in full bloom is reflected in the pond at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden Tuesday afternoon. Standup photo. Sept 11,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/Winnipeg Free Press)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Winnipeg control growth to deal with climate change?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google