Janet Fitch


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Janet Fitch

Goodreads Author


Born
in Los Angeles, California, The United States
Website

Twitter

Member Since
August 2008

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Janet Fitch was born in Los Angeles, a third-generation native, and grew up in a family of voracious readers. As an undergraduate at Reed College, Fitch had decided to become an historian, attracted to its powerful narratives, the scope of events, the colossal personalities, and the potency and breadth of its themes. But when she won a student exchange to Keele University in England, where her passion for Russian history led her, she awoke in the middle of the night on her twenty-first birthday with the revelation she wanted to write fiction. "I wanted to Live, not spend my life in a library. Of course, my conception of being a writer was to wear a cape and have Adventures." She has acquired a couple of capes since then, and a few adventure ...more

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Janet Fitch Read all the time. Read hard books, you don't get better playing tennis with someone who's at your own level. Try copying out a paragraph of something…moreRead all the time. Read hard books, you don't get better playing tennis with someone who's at your own level. Try copying out a paragraph of something great to see what it would be like writing that yourself. Take the basic structure of the sentences and try substituting your own words. Think up assignments for yourself--find a photograph and go into it, make up a story about what's happening in it. Tune your senses. Carry a notebook and capture everything. (less)
Janet Fitch A movie can never be a book, can never replicate the experience. It can only be inspired by a book, and hopefully be a worthwhile piece of art in…moreA movie can never be a book, can never replicate the experience. It can only be inspired by a book, and hopefully be a worthwhile piece of art in itself. It is very flattering when one artist wants to base a work of art on my work of art. But you can't control what they do with it. Van Gogh could paint a Pieta 'after Delacroix'. But Delacroix didn't stand there and go, "well, that's not what I would do." Delacroix already painted his picture, and Van Gogh wanted to do something based on it. THat's how I feel about a film based on something I've written. I loved the film, but the book still exists. (less)
Average rating: 3.93 · 278,439 ratings · 7,798 reviews · 16 distinct worksSimilar authors
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The Revolution of Marina M.

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More books by Janet Fitch…
I saw this thread of Native American and First Nations Writers we should be reading now on Elissa Washuta's twitter feed and knew I had to share it on Goodreads. Washuta is the author of A BODY IS A BOOK OF RULES and STARVATION MODE.

She wrote: “I see some non-Native readers looking for recommendations of works by Native writers who aren't Sherman Alexie. It's honestly pretty tiring to fight fo... Read more of this blog post »
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Published on February 27, 2018 14:05 • 183 views • Tags: native-literature

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November 2017, Janet Fitch
"The author of White Oleander takes readers inside the St. Petersburg bourgeoisie in The Revolution of Marina M . Fitch tells us about her love of Russian history and recommends some great Russian novels." ...More

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Trump/Russia: A D...
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Any Man
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The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
The Song of Achilles
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A brilliant rethinking of the Achilles legend from the point of view of his beloved companion, Patroclus. The great Homeric epics are far from personal, and the Iliad more than the Odyssey is a tale of gods and men, not a personal story of three dime ...more
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I adored this tiny book about the closing of a library and a certain fading into death of--a man?--a woman? -- their love story, meeting at the library-- and the librarians... I met her at AWP last year, on a panel on Novellas... what a brilliant wom ...more
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Circe by Madeline Miller
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After sharing an Epics panel with Madeline Miller at the LA Times Book Festival, I knew this was going to be a book I was going to love. And I was not disappointed. Wow. The story of Circe, the witch in the Odyssey, who turns Odysseus's men into pigs ...more
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I Will Be Complete by Glen David Gold
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I loved this book--the first nonfiction from novelist Glen David Gold (Carter Beats the Devil, Sunnyside)--so much that I blurbed it. Here's what I wanted to say in the short blurb, but of course there's no room on the back of a book to expand on wha ...more
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I loved this book--the first nonfiction from novelist Glen David Gold (Carter Beats the Devil, Sunnyside)--so much that I blurbed it. Here's what I wanted to say in the short blurb, but of course there's no room on the back of a book to expand on wha ...more
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Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain by Sharon Begley
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A book about neuroplasticity and the way scientists discovered the level of neuroplasticity within the human brain, and the continuing development of synapses and brain growth throughout a human's life. It's as much about the careful progress of scie ...more
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More of Janet's books…
“
Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. An intelligent, sensitive person is the exception, the very great exception. If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you'll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way.”
Janet Fitch, White Oleander

“Always learn poems by heart. They have to become the marrow in your bones. Like fluoride in the water, they'll make your soul impervious to the world's soft decay.”
Janet Fitch, White Oleander

“She would be half a planet away, floating in a turquoise sea, dancing by moonlight to flamenco guitar.”
Janet Fitch, White Oleander

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“Many couples, many people, are not living with real human beings, but with their ghosts. Who has not followed for years the spell of a particular tone of voice, from voice to voice, as the fetishist follows a beautiful foot, scarcely seeing the woman herself? A voice, a mouth, an eye, all stemming from the original fountain of our first desire, directing it, enslaving us, until we choose to unravel the fatal web and free ourselves.”
Anaïs Nin

“The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.”
Anaïs Nin

“The way I read was about to be changed forever in any case because, after Oulipo, I picked up Finnegans Wake and turned off the spell checker on my computer - writing as well as reading would narybee the seimagin.”
Fionnuala Lirsdottir, 2014 on Goodreads

“Military operations alone cannot defeat an insurgency because only economic development and political action can address most sources of disaffection. If military operations are not conducted consistent with political objectives or occur without economic development, they are certain to alienate the population further, reduce the amount of intelligence available to [...] security forces, and strengthen rather than weaken the enemy.”
H.R. McMaster

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TODAY BOOKS ARE NOT BURNED. THEY ARE BURIED. WE SHALL UNEARTH THEM.
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Comments (showing 1-32)    post a comment »
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Saaamaaa Thank you so much for taking the time to answer me! It really means a lot to me! I can see what you mean...Would be great to read about her further journey, but to imagine it is also quite satisfying. Wishing you also good reading and good writing! Samantha


message 31: by Janet

Janet Saaamaaa wrote: "Dear Ms. Fitch,

I always wanted to write to you, but never knew how to start. So I will just begin with: When I was twelve years old I watched the movie "White Oleander". I didn't know it was bas..."


Thanks Samantha, for this note--glad things are going better for you these days! So glad you took the time to write to me. Yes, I can imagine her with a child, and being a far more caring parent. But also having certain ideas about conventionality that would be as hard for her as for her mother, a certain restlessness with how other people do things... more inner conflict than Ingrid ever had. Wishing you good reading, and all best! Janet


Saaamaaa Dear Ms. Fitch,

I always wanted to write to you, but never knew how to start. So I will just begin with: When I was twelve years old I watched the movie "White Oleander". I didn't know it was based on your book until I was 19, but I have never forgotten about the story. I watched the movie multiple times because it made me feel understood and less alone. Later, when I had read the book, I felt the same way but was in a totally different place in my life. I was able to see everything from above now and not from the inside anymore. When someone asks me, which book in my life made me feel the most emotions, I always say it's the story of Astrid and her mother Ingrid. My childhood and youth were really tough sometimes but I'm very good right now and I just wanted to let you know, that you helped me a lot with coming to terms with everything. So, thank you for these beautiful, poetic words, for the memorable characters, for letting art take an important place in this novel and for sharing this story with us.
Sometimes I wonder, how Astrid's life would look right now...
Do you?
I imagine her with a daughter, being a very different mother than Ingrid, when it comes to parental care and warmth but also very much alike, talking about secrecy and gracefulness.
English is not my first language, so I hope you understand the bottom line of what I want to tell you.
I saw on you're Goodreads profile that you're very much into Russian literature and history. I must say, it didn't surprise me. But I was really happy to see it. One of my all time favorite stories is Anna Karenina. It also helped me grow a lot and taught me some important life lessons.
I hope you're very well and have a lot of stories in your life that touch your heart like yours will always touch mine.
Happy Easter and best wishes from very far away,

Samantha


message 29: by Janet

Janet Thanks Eugenia! Wish you good reading!


message 28: by Eugenia

Eugenia Hi Janet,
Thank you for accepting my friend request. I am honoured of being friends on Goodreads and I want to tell you how much I enjoyed reading White Oleander. It is such a beautiful book.

Eugenia


message 27: by Janet

Janet Hi Amy,
Thank you for taking the time to send me this moving comment. I'm sorry for the circumstances in which you discovered my novel, but very glad it was there for you. Books keep us company in ways nothing else can quite do. Appreciate this note and hope things work out better for you!
all best wishes,
Janet F.


message 26: by Amy

Amy Wells Janet,
I discovered White Oleander this year in jail, of all places. How ironic for me-- The most beautiful book ever written unveiled to me through the darkest recesses of my life.
I want you to know that White Oleander got me through that time. I read, and re-read, and re-read, and re-read White Oleander, continuously, over the course of 5 months. I didn't know how something so beautiful could be found in such a lonely place, but alas, it was there-- unearthed from its grave in "true crime" novels.
Thank you for creating that world to be lost within.
~Amy


message 25: by Janet

Janet Steve wrote: "Thanks Janet, for accepting my friend request.

Steve"


Thanks for finding me here--hope you like the books!


message 24: by Steve

Steve Thanks Janet, for accepting my friend request.

Steve


message 23: by Dustin

Dustin Janet wrote: "Dustin wrote: "Hi, Janet!

I hope all's well with you and yours.:)

Thank you for accepting my friendship request, it's always appreciated. Also, I wanted to tell you that White Oleander has been ..."


Thank you for writing it! I think I will enjoy it.:)


message 22: by Janet

Janet Dustin wrote: "Hi, Janet!

I hope all's well with you and yours.:)

Thank you for accepting my friendship request, it's always appreciated. Also, I wanted to tell you that White Oleander has been on my "to read"..."


Hope you enjoy it! Good reading and happy holidays,
Janet


message 21: by Janet

Janet Angela wrote: "Miss Janet,
I am pretty sure I have written to you on here before but I am writing again because I believe this should be embedded into your heart like your book is embedded into mine: you were tru..."


Hi Angela,
Thanks for this lovely post. HOpe you have a chance to read Paint It Black while I'm busily finishing up the new book! Wish you good reading and thanks for the shoring-up!
all best,
Janet


message 20: by Dustin

Dustin Hi, Janet!

I hope all's well with you and yours.:)

Thank you for accepting my friendship request, it's always appreciated. Also, I wanted to tell you that White Oleander has been on my "to read" list for a couple years now, and I'll finally be reading it in a couple weeks. I'm very much looking forward to it!



Have a wonderful day, enjoy the rest of your week!!


message 19: by Angela

Angela Shrum Miss Janet,
I am pretty sure I have written to you on here before but I am writing again because I believe this should be embedded into your heart like your book is embedded into mine: you were truly meant to be a writer. Your words are lyrics to the soul. White Oleander is my favorite book of all time, and every time I read it, I find something else to love and relate to. You will never understand how much this book has helped me because there are no available words. I consider you a blessing for writing it and motivating me to pick up a pen myself. I keep hoping and praying for another book from you, whenever you are ready. Until then, I will continue hold my several copies of White Oleander near and dear. Thank you for having the courage to publish such a beautiful piece.
Always a fan,
~Angela.


message 18: by Kathryn

Kathryn Janet, thank you so much for accepting my friend request. I read White Oleander when I first started college. It reminded me a lot of my own relationship with my mother. It's one of my all-time favorite books. I have read it twice, and I plan to read it again and again. Both times I've read it, I have taken away something new. I had been looking for a long time for Paint It Black, and finally found a copy last week. I can't wait to read it in a few days. Thanks again for accepting my friend request!


message 17: by S

S <3


Anastasia Hi Janet. Glad to be your friend.


Lady Jane Hi, Janet! Thank you so much for accepting my friend request. It was such a pleasure to escort you, Julie Otsuka, and Christopher Tilghman at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC on April 21st! I hear great things about "White Oleander," I must add it to my "Books To Read Before I Die" list!


Christina White I can't praise you enough for White Oleander. It was amazing and your words are still with me! I like to think of myself as a phoenix now.....

Thank you!


message 13: by Lisa

Lisa Thanks for accepting my friend request. :-)


message 12: by Janet

Janet THanks David! Look forward to following you, loved comparing the books and seeing that long skein of overlap--and then fun to see the rest. I just stopped by Petersburg to see if anyone had read it. It was like wrestling an active, slender, brightly colored snake...
all best and good reading
Janet


message 11: by David

David Lentz Dear Janet,
Thanks for the add and like on Biely.
Your shelf is exquisite, especially the Russians.
Loved "White Oleander."
Please stay in touch.
Cordially,
David


Christine Hatfield Thanks for being my friend


serafina Thank you for adding me. White Oleander is a book which reached me on a profound and inexplicable level. I first read it 8 years ago when I was 17; I was submerged in a very dark, lonely, desolate period of my life. I could not put the book down, I brought it with me everywhere until I finished it. I felt very connected to Astrid. I remember sitting in one of my classes reading the final scene with Claire as the tears streamed down my face. And when I finished the book, I felt this clear and overwhelming sense of fulfillment within my heart. I wished it never had to end because it filled a void that had only been deepening by the day. I am so grateful that someone captured the experiences of this young woman and the mother-daughter relationship in a way that moved me deeply, and for which I aspired to convey myself (as I am also a writer). White Oleander is truly a gift. Thank you for writing it.


Melissa Thanks for adding me as a friend! White Oleander is my favourite book of all time!!!!


Meghan I'm sure you are asked this every day... when will the next book be out?
Meghan


Kasia The Bookworm I love your choice of reads.


message 5: by Jeane

Jeane thanks for the add, janet! i love white oleander! the references in and around los angeles really amused me since i grew up in the area. my friend and i were really excited about the thrifty in alhambra, haha. :)

x
jeane.


message 4: by May

May Bee Miss Janet,
Thank you so much for accepting my friend request && for actually B E I N G my first actual friend here in Goodreads.com :D
BTW, I loved White Oleander. (:

-Maggieeee. :")


trivialchemy Thanks for the add! The Sheltering Sky, indeed.


message 2: by Nahid

Nahid Rachlin Dear Janet, I loved White Oleander. Nahid Rachlin


message 1: by Lisa

Lisa See Oh, Janet, How fun and funny that we get to be friends this way too.


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