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Jenny OfFILL’s WEATHER IS SEARINGLY BRIGHT, yet gloomy, and might resonate with the current climate, plus a writing prompt

By Leslie Lindsay 

Strange, but insightful little book told in fragmented realities, almost like a memoir, but let’s call it experimental literary fiction.




From the beloved author of the nationwide best seller Dept. of Speculation—one of the New York Times Book Review‘s Ten Best Books of the Year—a “darkly funny and urgent” (NPR) tour de force about a family, and a nation, in crisis

WEATHER is my first Jenny Offill book, but it probably won’t be my last. In fact, I have her national bestseller DEPT. OF SPECULATION on my TBR pileWEATHER (Knopf, February 2020) is such a book for our times. I mean, I read this and thought there was a precision to Offill’s words and perception.Obviously the book was written long before this ominous year of 2020, but the insights are searingly sharp and bright.

“Brilliant… Offill’s writing is brisk and comic, and her book’s format underlines her gifts. “Weather” is her most soulful book…  [Her] humor is saving humor; it’s as if she’s splashing vinegar to deglaze a pan.”
—The New York Times

If you’re looking for something traditional in scope, you won’t find it here. WEATHER is told in fragmented shards, some razor-sharp, others with a strange brand of humor, but they all flow into free-form literary tour de force. Is there a plot? Not exactly. But there are characters (who seem almost real in a memoir sense). Lizzie is a mother and wife and works in a library at a university. She was once a promising grad student and now does some kind of work for her former mentor, answering letters.

But she’s obsessed with disaster psychology, her recovering-addict brother, her divorced mom, and parenting is weird, too. She’s also concerned the world is coming to an end.(Sound familiar?). It does and it is. Draped in the background is the 2016 election and political social strife, but it’s not what you might think.

I love the vignettes, the snippets of prose that triggered another idea or generated a writing prompt for me. WEATHER is not going to be for everyone. It’s metaphorical at times, literal at others. It’s fragmented and free-form and written in an exercise in brevity, but astute readers and those looking for something a bit out of the mainstream, will complete appreciate.


Find a passage you relate to in WEATHER and expand on it. For me, I loved the epigraph: Notes from a Town Meeting in Milford, Connecticut, 1640 and wanted to find something similar for a writing project of mine. I’m still searching, but  it’s ephemera like this that ignite a spark. 

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Artistic photo of book cover designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Follow on Instagram @leslielindsay1 #alwayswithabook #bookstagram for more like this.

For more information, to connect with Jenny Offill, or to purchase a copy of WEATHER, please visit: 

Order LInks:

712HHiUZ-AL._US230_ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jenny Offill attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Offill teaches in the MFA programs at Brooklyn College, Columbia University and Queens University.


Leslie Lindsay is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012) and former Mayo Clinic child/adolescent psychiatric R.N. She is at work on a memoir, about growing up with a mentally ill interior decorator mother and her devolve into psychosis. Leslie’s writing & prose poetry has been published in Pithead ChapelCommon Ground ReviewCleaver Magazine (craft and CNF), The Awakenings Review, The Nervous Breakdown, Ruminate’s The WakingBrave Voices Literary MagazineManifest-StationCoffin Bell Journal, and others. Her cover art was featured on Up the Staircase Quarterly in May 2020, other photography in Another Chicago Magazine (ACM) and Brushfire Literature & Arts Journal; CNF in Semicolon Literary Magazine; the 2nd edition of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA will be available late this summer. Leslie has been awarded one of the top 1% reviewers on GoodReads and recognized by Jane Friedman as one of the most influential book reviewers. Since 2013, Leslie has interviewed over 700 bestselling and debut authors on her author interview series. Follow her bookstagram posts @leslielindsay1.


#alwayswithabook #literaryfiction #vignettes #experiementalfiction #parenting #librarian #insights #WEATHER

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[Cover and author image retrieved from the author’s website on 10.03.20. Artistic photo of book cover designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Follow on Instagram @leslielindsay1 #alwayswithabook #bookstagram for more like this]

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