Twitter Chat with 5 Under 35 Honoree Jennifer duBois
Thursday, November 1, 2012, 2:00-3:00pm


National Book Foundation @nationalbook: Welcome to our Twitter chat with 5 Under 35 honoree @jennifer_dubois. Thanks for joining us, Jennifer!

Jennifer duBois @jennifer_dubois: @nationalbook Thanks for having me!

National Book Foundation @nationalbook: I’ll ask the first question to get the conversation going, and then I’ll open it up for others to ask their questions.

National Book Foundation @nationalbook: Chess plays a big part in your novel. Do you play? What about the game and the world of chess compelled you to write about it?

Jennifer duBois @jennifer_dubois: I play badly & rarely--I think I was drawn to that world partly b/c it's full of fascinating oddball geniuses.

Jennifer duBois @jennifer_dubois: And also it seemed to me that chess presented lots of metaphorical possibilities in relation to illness & politics.

National Book Foundation @nationalbook: Did you have an idea of the story you wanted to tell when you started writing the book, or did it come together later?

Jennifer duBois @jennifer_dubois: @nationalbook I had the general idea--when I read about Garry Kasparov I thought he'd make a compelling model for a character.

Jennifer duBois @jennifer_dubois: @nationalbook & early on I saw that Irina & Aleksandr belonged in the same book b/c they really had the same problem, in a way.

Jon Horowitz @WitzPickz: Hi, Jennifer, thanks for being here: How long did it take you to write APHOLC and was it the first novel you completed?

Jennifer duBois @jennifer_dubois: @WitzPickz Hi! It was kind of a phased process--2 years to draft, 1 year to revise, then another year to just worry, mostly.

Jennifer duBois @jennifer_dubois: @WitzPickz And yes, it's the first novel I completed (or started).

National Book Foundation @nationalbook: We're chatting with @jennifer_dubois! Join in the conversation and ask Jennifer anything you want to know!

Jennifer duBois @jennifer_dubois: @nationalbook I'm especially good at world capitals.

Jon Horowitz @WitzPickz: Well, then two part question for you: A) Have you found there's a community of up and coming authors and B) Capital of Ukraine?

Jennifer duBois @jennifer_dubois: @WitzPickz A) Don't know that there's 1, but maybe several. & I feel so lucky for those I've been part of.

Jennifer duBois @jennifer_dubois: @WitzPickz A) (cont'd) Generally I've found them full of people who are v. supportive, as well as smart & witty & snappily dressed

Jennifer duBois @jennifer_dubois: @WitzPickz & B) Kiev! Though much like Aleksandr's chess career, I fear that computers have rendered my lone skill obsolete.

Jon Horowitz @WitzPickz: Thanks for the answers! And no # of computers can ever take away the free booze said knowledge can win at trivia nights

Jennifer duBois @jennifer_dubois: @WitzPickz So true! I just hope the computer overlords of the future still let us have trivia nights. Thanks for the questions!

Jess @filmfromage: @jennifer_dubois Now that you've published both short and long form prose, do you have a preference?

Jennifer duBois @jennifer_dubois: @filmfromage Hi! I really like both--I love the freedom of writing stories & the longterm imaginative absorption of writing novels

National Book Foundation @nationalbook: The dreaded second-book question: Are you working on something new? Also, what are you reading these days?

Jennifer duBois @jennifer_dubois: @nationalbook I'm just about done w/ a draft of a novel about a young American woman imprisoned on study abroad in Argentina.

Jennifer duBois @jennifer_dubois: @nationalbook It's based verrrry loosely on the Amanda Knox case which, like everyone else, I found completely riveting.

Jennifer duBois @jennifer_dubois: @nationalbook & I just finished Libra by Don DeLillo. I'm currently reading Demick's Nothing to Envy, about life in North Korea.

National Book Foundation @nationalbook: Both #nbaward Finalists! Great choices.

Jennifer duBois @jennifer_dubois: @nationalbook I can see why!

National Book Foundation @nationalbook: That brings us to the end of our chat. Thanks, Jennifer, for being with us today, and congrats again on the 5 Under 35 selection!

Jennifer duBois @jennifer_dubois: @nationalbook Thank you so much!!

about Jennifer duBois

Jennifer duBoisJennifer duBois was born in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1983. She earned a BA in political science and philosophy from Tufts University and an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow. She recently completed her Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University, where she now teaches. Jennifer's short fiction has appeared in Playboy, The Missouri Review, The Kenyon Review, The Northwest Review, The South Carolina Review, and The Florida Review. A Partial History of Lost Causes is her first novel.
Photo credit: Ilana Panich-Linsman
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