"When I was growing up in Oak Park I regularly visited my children’s librarian, Mrs. Dillis Finch. She had a shelf-like bosom, small round glasses, and a graying bun on top of her head. I doubt she worked out. This was before the age of therapy. She was probably more profound than a therapist. She knew what I liked to read. She therefore knew me deeply. I would stand before her desk and she’d slice open the box of new books, peer inside, and take out the novel that she had ordered for me. Were the materials already processed? I don’t know. She handed me the book and I had perfect happiness."
Jane Hamilton has published seven novels. Her short stories have appeared in Harper's magazine. Her first novel, The Book of Ruth, won the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award for best first novel and was a selection of the Oprah Book Club. Her second novel, A Map of the World, was an international bestseller. The Short History of a Prince was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. When Madeline Was Young was on several of the Best of the Year lists. Laura Rider’s Masterpiece was perhaps the book that made her laugh the most. She lives in Wisconsin on an apple orchard with her farming and book reading husband.
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Photo Credit: Kevin Horan