Jennifer Weiner Says Women Should Stop Pretending to be Perfect
Jennifer Weiner’s first novel, Good in Bed, was a New York Times best seller. After 11 novels, a collection of short stories, and a middle-grade book, Weiner recently debuted her first memoir and first nonfiction book, Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing.
Weiner is no shrinking violet and brings that same honesty to her memoir. But how hard was it for her to tell her own story? Here’s what she had to say about that challenge:
"The obvious one is that everyone is going to know my business, which is terrifying. But in terms of the writing, some of these are stories that I've told, like the story of my Nana being an extra in the movie, so that just came very naturally.
I turned in a draft of this book that were stories that I've told at readings and public speaking events, plus some pieces I had published already. It was about 250 pages long.
After I turned it in, I thought, 'That's not the real story. It's not going to help anyone.'
We as women do so much pretending, and it's made the world a less safe place. Because if everyone is pretending that everything is great—that my marriage is fine, that my kids are fine, that I'm managing all this fine—it becomes less safe to say, 'I'm not fine. I'm not OK, and I need some help.'
I do not want to be responsible for making the world less safe, for women to be vulnerable, and honest, and to get the help they need. People are suffering because of this.
They're going on Facebook and seeing perfectly lit, perfectly coiffed, perfectly filtered images, where nobody has barfed on their outfit.
And then you're forced to ask yourself questions: Why is my life not like that? What is wrong with me? And I don't want people feeling that way.
I want people to look at me and think, 'Well, Jesus, at least it's not that bad!'"
Read the full interview with Jennifer Weiner and add more of her books to your Want to Read list.
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