Tackling themes of death, grief, and emotional turmoil without lapsing into cheap sentimentality, Jacquelyn Mitchard has made a career of pulling the heartstrings without patronizing her readers. With her debut novel The Deep End of the Ocean, the first book ever to be featured in Oprah’s Book Club, Mitchard began a career distinguished by intelligent and entertaining explorations of life’s darkest moments.
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Place of Birth:
B.A. in English, Rockford College, 1973
Maggie Award for Journalism; Anne Powers Award for fiction from the Council of Wisconsin Writers. 1997
Jacquelyn Mitchard's official web site
|Mitchard's Latest Novel||Selected Works|
Back in high school, Tracy, Olivia, and Holly were known as The Godmothers, the girls everyone wanted to be and know. Unlike many friendships, their bond survived the years. But 20 years later, their glamorous leader, Olivia, whose wealthy Italian husband has died, suggests they reunite on her return to the United States with a luxury sailboat crossing in the Caribbean. With Tracy's college-aged daughter and an attentive two-man crew, they sail into paradise. But then, the smallest mistake triggers a series of devastating events. Suddenly in a desperate fight for survival, they battle the elements, dwindling food and water, the threat of modern-day piracy, and their own frailties.
Mother Less Child (1985)|
The Deep End of the Ocean (1996)
The Most Wanted (1998)
Twelve Times Blessed (2003)
The Breakdown Lane (2005)
Cage of Stars (2006)
Now You See Her (2007)
Still Summer (2007)
Jacquelyn Mitchard chronology
|The Best Book to Read First|
|Deep End of the Ocean|
Mitchard's debut novel, the family drama The Deep End of the Ocean, broke ground as the first-ever selection of Oprah's Book Club in September 1996. The book was later adapted as a major motion picture, starring Michelle Pfeiffer in the lead role.
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|"I'm allergic to chocolate, which led to one of the most humiliating experiences of my life," Mitchard reveals in our interview. "I was in Washington, D.C. for the second Clinton inaugural, and I was in a bookstore, standing in line. The Deep End of the Ocean was all over the store, and I was telling my date -- a guy I couldn't stand -- about my allergy to chocolate. When I got up to the front and got out my credit card, the woman at the counter said, 'I really want to shake your hand.' Naturally, I thought it was because my book had been number one on the bestseller lists for months. I thought that, upon seeing my credit card, she recognized my name as the author of The Deep End of the Ocean. But she said, ‘I've never met anyone else who's allergic to chocolate!'" |
|Birds of America|
We asked Mitchard to tell us about some of her favorite books. She named Lorrie Moore's short story collection, Birds of America, reflecting: "Funny, perfect, pristine, the best short-story writer of my generation, Lorrie is my friend and I am her acolyte."
|Out of Africa (Modern Library Series)|
Isak Dinesen, Mark Hannon (Illustrator)
"I know the true story, and I know how vaguely racist and terribly overblown this story is; but the writing is undeniably majestic, suitable to the subject, and portrays a time that is lost forever, if it ever existed," Mitchard says of Isak Dinesen's sweeping saga. Read our interview to learn more about Mitchard's favorite books, including: