Allie Rowbottom

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Allie Rowbottom (born 1986[1]) is an American writer and is mostly known for her memoir: Jell-O Girls: A Family History (Little, Brown and Company, 2018)[2][3]


Rowbottom received her MFA from California Institute of the Arts and her PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Houston.

Jell-O Girls: A Family History[edit]

The memoir follows three women in Rowbottom's family and investigates the roles of domesticity in the American kitchen over generations. Starting with Midge (Rowbottom's grandmother), then detailing Mary's life (Rowbottom's mother) and finally focusing on Rowbottom herself.[4][5] The memoir discusses the dessert specifically because Rowbottom's great-great-great-uncle bought the Jell-O patent in 1899 for $450,[6] and because Rowbottom own account of her eating disorder, and her active struggle with only eating foods, like Jell-O, that have a low calorie count.[7]

The book starts with Rowbottom feeding her dying mother Jell-O, the only food her mother could keep down at the time. Rowbottom's mother eventually passed away in 2015 at age 70. Rowbottom was not able to finish the book before her mother's death.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Rowbottom was raised in New England and is now based in Los Angeles.


  1. ^ Mary Edith Fussell obituary. The New Haven Register, 6 Sep 2015. Retrieved from, 2019-05-13.
  2. ^ Rauch, Sara (2018-08-09). ""Jell-O Girls" Exorcises a Famous Family's Sexist Curse". Bitch Media. Retrieved 2018-08-12.
  3. ^ Morgan, C. E. (2018-08-24). "How Patriarchy Imprinted Itself on the Family Who Created Jell-O". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
  4. ^ Szalai, Jennifer (2018-07-18). "In 'Jell-O Girls,' a Dark Family History Behind a Candy-Colored Dessert". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-08-12.
  5. ^ "Nonfiction Book Review: Jell-O Girls: A Family History by Allie Rowbottom". Publishers Weekly. 2018-01-22. Retrieved 2018-08-12.
  6. ^ Rowbottom, Allie (2018-07-19). "An Indies Introduce Q&A With Allie Rowbottom" (Interview). Interviewed by Michael Hermann. American Booksellers Association. Retrieved 2018-08-12.
  7. ^ "JELL-O GIRLS by Allie Rowbottom". Kirkus Reviews. 2018-04-11. Retrieved 2018-09-04.
  8. ^ Smith, Wendy (2018-08-22). "Jell-O heiresses's deadly legacy of swallowing pain". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2018-08-26.