Friday, February 5, 2016

Jennifer Robson

Jennifer Robson is the author of three novels set during and after the First World War: Somewhere in France, After the War is Over, and Moonlight Over Paris.

She holds a doctorate in British economic and social history from Saint Antony’s College, University of Oxford, where she was a Commonwealth Scholar and an SSHRC Doctoral Fellow.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Robson's reply:
I’m one of those people who always seem to have three or four books on the go—some for research, some because I’ve been asked for a quote or “blurb,” and always at least one book that’s just for fun.

As far as research goes, I’m right in the middle of writing my next book, which is set in London during the Second World War. Although I’m very familiar with the history of the period—much of my doctoral thesis focused on the home front in Britain—I’ve been madly trying to learn as much as I can about woman journalists during the war. I just finished Sketches from a Life by Anne Scott-James, a journalist and writer who was at Picture Post during the war, and I’m now reading My Day, a collection of Eleanor Roosevelt’s newspaper columns, as I’m thinking of including her as a minor character in the book.

I have two books to read with a view to providing a quote, which is technically work but actually very enjoyable. I’ve almost finished The Royal Nanny by Karen Harper, which tells the story of Charlotte Bill, who was the beloved nanny of the tragic Prince John, brother to Edward VII and George VI. It is really good—she has a wonderful grasp of the period—and I feel certain that anyone who enjoys my work will love this book, too. Next up is The Fifth Avenue Artists Society, a debut work of historical fiction by Joy Callaway. The cover is gorgeous (I’m just as susceptible to a beautiful cover as the next person) and the book’s synopsis is so interesting—I can hardly wait to dig in!

For fun I often like to read cookbooks, believe it or not. Right now I have Zahav on my bedside table—its author is a native of Pittsburgh and runs several restaurants there—and it’s a wonderful exploration of modern Israeli cooking. The only difficulty is that I keep looking at it late at night, just before going to bed—and the recipes and pictures make me so hungry I have trouble falling asleep!
Visit Jennifer Robson's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Jennifer Robson & Ellie.

My Book, The Movie: After the War Is Over.

The Page 69 Test: After the War Is Over.

--Marshal Zeringue