December 11, 2023 | Rome, Italy

Jenny & the Jaws of Life

By |2018-03-21T18:27:12+01:00April 1st, 2004|Recent Reviews|

By Jincy Willett

Thomas Dunne Books, 1987 (2002). 274 pages.


t’s hard to resist a collection of short stories with a plug from David Sedaris on the cover saying “It’s just the funniest collection of stories I’ve ever read…”

They are funny, sad, some even sinister, and all are original. The life of one character is revealed only through her fantasies, while another, an acerbic advice columnist who suffers a breakdown, through her letters from readers and her hilarious replies. Others are more straightforward, but no less inventive. All are written with the same strong clear voice that surprises readers, but never loses a beat.

On occasion, she throws in an extremely moving line, perhaps just because she can. Good for Sedaris to say in the forward how much Willett’s book inspired him. After reading Ms. Willett, you can see that’s true in his stories.

About the Author:

Stephanie Gruner is a freelance writer who divides her time between Lucca, Italy and Tbilisi, Georgia. In the Caucasus, she produces a weekly radio show on politics, business, social issues and culture. Previously, she wrote a travel column for the Wall Street Journal Europe. Before moving to Italy in 2002, she was a staff reporter at the Wall Street Journal in London, where she covered Internet, media and technology, and also appeared regularly on CNBC Europe. Prior to the WSJ, she was a staff writer at Inc. magazine, a U.S. publication for entrepreneurs.