Deborah Yaffe, an award-winning author and newspaper journalist, has been a passionate Jane Austen fan since first reading Pride and Prejudice at age ten. As a newspaper reporter in New Jersey and California for more than thirteen years, Yaffe covered education, the law, and state government. Her first book, Other People’s Children: The Battle for Justice and Equality in New Jersey’s Schools, was initially supported by a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit Deborah’s website.
AMONG THE JANEITES (2013)
For anyone who has ever loved a Jane Austen novel, a warm and witty look at the passionate, thriving world of Austen fandom
They walk among us in their bonnets and Empire-waist gowns, clutching their souvenir tote bags and battered paperbacks: the Janeites, Jane Austen’s legion of devoted fans. Who are these obsessed admirers, whose passion has transformed Austen from classic novelist to pop-culture phenomenon? Deborah Yaffe, journalist and Janeite, sets out to answer this question, exploring the remarkable endurance of Austen’s stories, the unusual zeal that their author inspires, and the striking cross-section of lives she has touched.
Along the way, Yaffe meets a Florida lawyer with a byzantine theory about hidden subtexts in the novels, a writer of Austen fan fiction who found her own Mr. Darcy while reimagining Pride and Prejudice, and a lit professor whose roller-derby nom de skate is Stone Cold Jane Austen. Yaffe goes where Janeites gather, joining a pilgrimage to historic sites in Britain, chatting online with fellow fans, and attending the annual ball of the Jane Austen Society of North America—in period costume. Part chronicle of a vibrant literary community, part memoir of a lifelong love, Among the Janeites is a funny, touching meditation on the nature of fandom.
“Among the Janeites is a lively and insightful celebration of big-tent Austen fandom.”—Publisher’s Weekly
“For fans of Jane Austen and for anyone interested in the story of how six novels, written hundreds of years ago, have transformed the lives of the countless people who love them, Among the Janeites is a sparkling, informative, and highly entertaining exploration, revealing why Austen’s work remains a source of ‘wisdom, comfort,insight.'”—Lan Samantha Chang, author of All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost
“Among the Janeites is a delightfully detailed, warmly intimate look at the nooks and crannies of Austen fandom, including Yaffe’s own love affair with Jane. Never simply a tourist among the Janeites, Yaffe offers sympathetic accounts of real people, while never losing humor and irony about the odd marriages brought about between Austen addiction, the eccentricities of scholarship, the excesses of fandom and commercialism, and love of Colin Firth in a wet shirt.”—Susan Bordo, author of The Creation of Anne Boleyn
Rights: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, North America