When I was in college I didn’t read for “fun” a lot. Between the required reading I had for the handful of literature classes I took, the assigned reading from textbooks, drinking and dorm wide Grey’s Anatomy viewing parties there wasn’t a lot of time. Chick-lit slowly welcomed me back into the world of reading for pleasure. Jennifer Weiner, Lauren Weisberger, Jen Lancaster and Anna Maxted reminded me that reading was fun and my bookshelves are still dotted in pink and green from that time in my life.
Hungry Heart is Jennifer Weiner’s first memoir and while I’ll probably always prefer her fiction it’s a pretty successful stab at non-fiction writing. Her childhood wasn’t always a happy one, although she credits her creativity on her youthful hardships. She was always a bit overweight, unlucky in love and her father abandoned his family when Jennifer was headed into college.
“A writer wasn’t a body, just a byline. My words would be sharp and spiky, punchy and pointed; my stories would be swift and lean, sleek and enviable, moving fast and hitting hard. I would not, I vowed, write like a fat girl.”
She is honest about her struggles and grateful for her successes. She talks about her difficulty adjusting to motherhood, the dissolution of her first marriage and in a very brave chapter talks about suffering a miscarriage. In all of these anecdotes you see the inspirations behind some of her most famous characters. Like Kendrick’s memoir it will probably help to be a fan, there are a lot of references to her books, but I think there is a lot there for non-fans as well.