Jami Attenberg

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Jami Attenberg
Headshot of Attenberg smiling at the camera. She wears curly hair shoulder-length with bangs and a floral-print top.
Attenberg at the 2017 Texas Book Festival
Alma mater Johns Hopkins University
Occupation Writer
Era 21st-century
Notable work The Middlesteins
Saint Mazie
All Grown Up
Home town Buffalo Grove, Illinois
Website jamiattenberg.com

Jami Attenberg (born 1971 in Arlington Heights, Illinois[1]) is an American fiction writer and essayist. She is the author of a short story collection and five novels, including best-seller The Middlesteins.

Early life[edit]

Attenberg grew up in Buffalo Grove, Illinois,[2] and graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Writing.[3]


Attenberg worked at HBO before deciding to devote herself to fiction writing, initially supported by temp jobs.[4] Attenberg has also worked at bookstore Saturday at Word in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, a job she took after giving several readings at the store.[5]


In 2006, Attenberg published a collection of short stories with Random/Shaye Areheart under the title Instant Love.[6] Two novels followed: The Kept Man (Riverhead, 2008)[7][8] and The Melting Season (2010).[9][10]

Following a change in publisher and accompanying marketing strategy (with subsequent works promoted not as women's fiction but instead as literary fiction, including blurb from Jonathan Franzen on her third book),[4] Attenberg experienced a literary breakthrough in 2012 with her third novel The Middlesteins,[11][12][13][14][15] which became a New York Times bestseller[16] and was listed among the ten best-selling books on Amazon in 2012.[17] The Middlesteins was translated into multiple languages and Attenberg was nominated for multiple literature awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize[18] and the St. Francis College Literary Prize.[19]

In 2015, Attenberg published her fifth book, Saint Mazie (Hachette).[20][21][22][23][24][25] Buzzfeed listed Saint Mazie as one of the 27 "Most Exciting Books of 2015."[26]

Attenberg's next novel, All Grown Up, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the US in March 2017,[27][28][29][30][31][32] and in the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Holland in 2017–2018.


Attenberg's essays, treating a various topics, can be found in The New York Times,[33] The Wall Street Journal,[34] Vogue,[35] Elle[36] and Lenny Letter.[37]

Personal life[edit]

Attenberg splits her time between Brooklyn, NY, and New Orleans, LA.[38]


  1. ^ Illinois Authors: Jami Attenberg
  2. ^ Chicago Reader: In The Middlesteins, Jami Attenberg shows you can go home again, by Aimee Levitt on June 7, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  3. ^ LitLovers
  4. ^ a b Freeman, Hadley (2017-03-24). "Jami Attenberg: 'I wanted to see if there were other happy endings for single women'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  5. ^ Sullivan, J. Courtney (2011-05-06). "Selling Books by Day, Writing Them by Night". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  6. ^ "Fiction Book Review: Instant Love by Jami Attenberg, Author . Random/Shaye Areheart $21 (267p) ISBN 978-0-307-33782-5". Publishers Weekly. April 3, 2006. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  7. ^ North, Anna (December 19, 2007). "Review: Wife cheered by househusbands in Attenberg's 'Kept Man'". SFGate. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  8. ^ "THE KEPT MAN by Jami Attenberg". Kirkus Reviews. December 1, 2007. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  9. ^ BookForum
  10. ^ Oulton, Emma (February 14, 2017). "Show Yourself Some Love With These 14 Books". Bustle. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  11. ^ Orringer, Julie (2012-12-27). "'The Middlesteins,' by Jami Attenberg". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  12. ^ Corrigan, Maureen (November 20, 2012). "Hungry Hearts And Family Matters In 'Middlesteins'". Fresh Air. NPR. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  13. ^ Beresford, Lucy (2013-03-14). "The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg: review". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  14. ^ Kirsch, Adam (October 31, 2012). "A Middlemarch for Middle America". New Republic. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  15. ^ Hahn, Daniel (2013-02-10). "Review: The Middlesteins, By Jami Attenberg". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  16. ^ Press section of author's website.
  17. ^ "Best Books of Year: Top 100 Picks for 2012". Amazon. 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  18. ^ L.A. Times Archived 2015-08-02 at the Wayback Machine.
  19. ^ "SFC Announces Short List for $50,000 Literary Prize". www.sfc.edu. August 15, 2013. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  20. ^ Ingall, Marjorie (2015-06-09). "'Saint Mazie,' by Jami Attenberg". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  21. ^ Johncock, Benjamin (2015-07-01). "Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg review – a love letter to Jazz Age New York". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  22. ^ Gentry, Amy. "Review: 'Saint Mazie' by Jami Attenberg". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  23. ^ Cheuse, Alan (June 11, 2016). "'Mazie' Pays Homage To A Real-Life Saint Of The Streets". NPR. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  24. ^ Solomon, Anna (June 6, 2015). "Book review: Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  25. ^ Scholes, Lucy (2015-06-18). "Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg, book review: A big-hearted story of old". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  26. ^ Lee, Jarry (January 8, 2015). "27 Of The Most Exciting New Books Of 2015". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  27. ^ Felsenthal, Julia (March 7, 2017). "Jami Attenberg on All Grown Up and Why Adulting Is Overrated". Vogue. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  28. ^ Jacobs, Emma (April 13, 2017). "All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg — loveless, actually". Financial Times. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  29. ^ Schulman, Helen (2017-03-09). "A Heroine Who Does Adulthood on Her Own Terms". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  30. ^ Quinn, Annalisa (March 8, 2017). "'All Grown Up' Is The Picture Of Someone Who Isn't (And A Voice That's Nothing New)". NPR. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  31. ^ Guest, Katy (2017-04-01). "All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg review – difficult, selfish, a true-to-life heroine". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  32. ^ Maran, Meredith (2017-03-02). "'All Grown Up,' by Jami Attenberg, is an X-ray of Gen X life". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  33. ^ New York Times article search
  34. ^ Wall Street Journal: Novelist Jami Attenberg on Why Whiskey Is for Sharing
  35. ^ Vogue Contributor Page: Jami Attenberg
  36. ^ Elle Author Page: Jami Attenberg
  37. ^ Lenny Letter Author Page: Jami Attenberg
  38. ^ Pictorial: An Interview With Jami Attenberg, Author of Saint Mazie.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]