Monday, August 5, 2013

Among The Janeites

There's a new Jane Austen related book coming out tomorrow adding to the plethora of Austen related books to date. I don't usually get too excited about the release of such books but this particular one has a special connection for me because...I - AM - IN - IT!

Just before Thanksgiving in 2011 former journalist writer Deborah Yaffe emailed me about a new book she was writing about the fans of Jane Austen and she wanted to interview me about "Jane Austen's appeal to her many Christian fans". After much prayer and talking it over with my family I decided to agree to a telephone interview. Although my heart was pounding loud with some nervous excitement when I answered my phone at the appointed time after a few minutes I was able to relax and just enjoy chatting to a fellow Janeite about how I met Jane Austen and why I loved her and her characters.

Book Description: For anyone who has ever loved a Jane Austen novel, a warm and witty look at the passionate, thriving world of Austen fandom

They walk among us in their bonnets and Empire-waist gowns, clutching their souvenir tote bags and battered paperbacks: the Janeites, Jane Austen’s legion of devoted fans. Who are these obsessed admirers, whose passion has transformed Austen from classic novelist to pop-culture phenomenon? Deborah Yaffe, journalist and Janeite, sets out to answer this question, exploring the remarkable endurance of Austen’s stories, the unusual zeal that their author inspires, and the striking cross-section of lives she has touched. 

Along the way, Yaffe meets a Florida lawyer with a byzantine theory about hidden subtexts in the novels, a writer of Austen fan fiction who found her own Mr. Darcy while reimagining Pride and Prejudice, and a lit professor whose roller-derby nom de skate is Stone Cold Jane Austen. Yaffe goes where Janeites gather, joining a pilgrimage to historic sites in Britain, chatting online with fellow fans, and attending the annual ball of the Jane Austen Society of North America—in period costume. Part chronicle of a vibrant literary community, part memoir of a lifelong love, Among the Janeites is a funny, touching meditation on the nature of fandom. - quoted from

This Tuesday Among The Janeites: A Journey Through The World Of Jane Austen Fandom by Deborah Yaffe will be officially released! I am excited to get my copy tomorrow to read on my Kindle! Quite vainly the first thing I'll do will be to search through it for my own name and see what parts of the interview she included. And I have to admit that I've already searched "Laurie Michael" in the book preview on Amazon and it seems I'm mentioned briefly in three places (one of those is in the Introduction)!

From the reviews I've read at Austenprose and AustenBlog the book sounds very interesting and seems to be a very sympatheric look at the various ways that our fandom of Jane Austen's works manifests itself. I'm very much looking forward to reading it soon!

After I have a chance to read the book I plan to review it so keep an eye out in the next week or so for that post.

Have you heard about Among The Janeites?

Are you interested in reading it?


Jessica Greyson said...

How very delightful!!!!! THAT IS AWESOME THAT YOU TOOK THAT OPPORTUNITY!!!!! I'll have to check it out and see if it needs to hop into my library!

Elisa said...

Wow, that's great! It's a thrill to see your name (or someone you know) appear in print.

Deborah Yaffe said...

Hi, Laurie --

Yes, you're in it! In the end, I wasn't able to write a whole chapter about Christian fans of JA, but I was delighted to use some of the material from our interview to provide some perspective on that important dimension of the fandom. I hope you'll like the book!

Deborah Yaffe

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

My copy downloaded to my Kindle this morning and I've been enjoying reading through some of your book today.
Thank you for writing about our tribe of Janeites, it's neat reading your story too! :)

Larissa said...

I am so excited for you! I am older than you yet you are my teacher teaching me about Jane Austen and all thing old-fashioned as I sit and read your blog. I came to Jane Austen some what late in life and have thoroughly enjoyed this learning process. I hope I can get my hands on that book especially if you are in it!

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