Jessica Shattuck makes her literary debut with The Hazards of Good Breeding -- a book that, according to Newsday, "will naturally be compared to Cheever's stories and Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. What's more surprising is that it deserves a place beside those masterpieces."
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Date of Birth:
April 2, 1972
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
B.A. Harvard College, 1994; M.F.A. in Writing, Columbia University, 2001
Frank O’Connor Short Story Award for short story “The Wedding Guests”, 1999; Harvard College Briggs Fiction Prize, 1994; The Hazards of Good Breeding named Pen Winship Award Finalist, 2003
|Shattuck's Breakout Book|
|The Hazards of Good Breeding|
Shattuck's debut novel -- a dark comedy of manners about the foibles of a high-society New England family as told through the perspective of its disillusioned daughter -- is already drawing comparisons to the work of John Cheever and J. D. Salinger. According to The New York Times, the book's bombshell ending "elevates The Hazards of Good Breeding from a witty and promising first novel to a disturbing indictment of a superannuated subculture."
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|Pursuit of a Dream|
|In our exclusive interview with Shattuck, she reveals, "much of my early writing I wouldn’t want to show anyone, but I think I learned a lot from it and the discipline this required helped me recognize that this was what I wanted to do, come hell or high water."|
|Early Inspiration||Shattuck's Reading Recommendations|
|The Mists of Avalon|
Marion Zimmer Bradley
Reading Marion Zimmer Bradley's classic as a young adult "triggered a near fanatical Camelot obsession in me," Shattuck recalls. "This is the book that taught me that a good book feels like just the tip of the iceberg -- one little piece of a whole world that exists outside its pages."
We asked Shattuck to tell us about some of her all-time favorite reads; Diane Johnson's popular comedy of manners made her list; read on to learn more about her reading selections, including: