Individual Author Record
Name: Jean ThompsonPen Name: None Genre: Born: N/A Sites:
Illinois ConnectionThompson currently resides in Urbana, Illinois.
Biographical and Professional InformationJean Thompson has taught creative writing since 1973 at several Illinois Universities and Colleges including the Reed College and Northwestern University. Currently, she is an Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign.Thompson's stories have been published in many magazines and journals, including The New Yorker and anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize.
- Who Do You Love, Simon & Schuster, 2000
- Wild Blue Yonder, Topeka Bindry, 2003
- City Boy, Simon & Schuster, 2005
- Throw Like a Girl, Simon & Schuster, 2007
- Do Not Deny Me, Simon & Schuster, 2009
- The Year We Left Home, Simon & Schuster, 2011
- The Humanity Project, Blue Rider Press, 2013
Titles At Your Library
Who Do You Love: Stories
ISBN: 0743203011 Simon & Schuster. 2000 In this acclaimed collection, Jean Thompson limns the lives of ordinary people -- a lonely social worker, a down-and-out junkie, a divorced cop on the night shift -- to extraordinary effect. With wisdom and sympathy and spare eloquence, she writes of their inarticulate longings for communion and grace.Yet even the saddest situations are imbued with Thompsonąs characteristic humor and a wry glimmer of hope. With Who Do You Love, readers will discover a writer with rare insight into the resiliency of the human spirit and the complexities of love.
Wide Blue Yonder: A Novel
ISBN: 0743229584 Simon & Schuster. 2003 From National Book Award-finalist Jean Thompson comes a compelling, highly charged novel about a family ruled by the weather, the drastic changes that hit their atmosphere, and a midwestern town where chaos doesn't reign -- it pours.
Something big is headed for Springfield, Illinois, a place where weather of all kinds -- climatic, emotional, and even metaphysical -- tends to come in extremes. It is the summer of 1999, and through the long months of blazing heat and fearsome tempests, a quirky quartet of locals will try to ride out the stormy season, each in their own way.
Uncle Harvey believes he is the embodiment of the Weather Channel's "Local Forecast," even though all meteorological evidence points to the contrary. His niece, Josie, is fixed with a different predicament -- she's young and pretty, with nowhere to go except into deep trouble. Her mother, Elaine, lives under a façade of cheerful efficiency, desperately masking a far more urgent quest. And all of them are caught in the path of the loner Rolando -- a human cyclone from the West, fueled by a boundless rage and determined to make Springfield the focal point of his wrath.
City Boy: A Novel
ISBN: 0743242831 Simon & Schuster. 2005 Newlyweds Jack and Chloe are building a life together in a modest Chicago apartment. The city is theirs to enjoy as Jack struggles to pursue a writing career and Chloe works downtown, applying herself to the world of high finance. While Jack aspires to be the perfect husband, his own self-doubts and Chloe's office flirtations cast shadows. Jealousy and mis-behavior undermine their notions of themselves and of each other, and their lives take on uncomfortable parallels with the volatile, chaotic existence of their raffish, menacing neighbors. In the intense heat of one Chicago summer, Jack and Chloe's marriage roils into a queasy chemistry of vanity, lust, and greed. Thompson writes with piercing insight and emotional truth, setting off literary fireworks.
Throw Like A Girl: Stories
ISBN: B000R7G8HA Simon & Schuster. 2007 A master of short fiction whose "best pieces are as good as it gets in contemporary cction" (Newsday) returns, as Jean Thompson follows her National Book Award finalist collection Who Do You Love with Throw Like a Girl.
Here are twelve new stories that take dead aim at the secrets of womanhood, arcing from youth to experience. Each one of Thompson's indelible characters -- lovers, wives, friends, and mothers -- speaks her piece -- wry, angry, hopeful -- about the world and women's places in it.
Do Not Deny Me: Stories
ISBN: 1416595635 Simon & Schuster. 2009 When Jean Thompsonâ€”â€śAmericaâ€™s Alice Munroâ€ť (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)â€”is telling stories, â€śYou cannot put the book downâ€ť (The Seattle Times), and her superlative new collection, Do Not Deny Me, is one to be savored, word by word.
â€˘ Award-winning storyteller gaining popularity: Jean Thompsonâ€™s short fiction has been honored by the National endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation Who Do You Love: Stories was a National Book Award finalist for fiction and was promoted by David Sedaris during his own lecture tour and Throw Like a Girl: Stories was a New York Times Notable Book and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year. The collection is also in its sixth printing, as Thompsonâ€™s longstanding critical acclaim crosses over into a popular following. Do Not Deny Me is perfectly positioned to gain an even wider audience.
â€˘ Do Not Deny Me: Here is a title that demandsâ€”and commandsâ€”attention in and of itself. Yet Thompsonâ€™s latest collection is no literary dare, delivering as it does twelve dazzling new stories that together offer, with wit, humor, and razor-sharp perception, a fictional primer on how Americans live day to day. In Thompsonâ€™s writing, The New York Times Book Review has noted, â€śsome of the biggest satisfactions happen line by line, thanks to Thompsonâ€™s effortless ability to tip her prose into the universal.â€ť Thompson succeeds as â€śone of our most astute diagnosticians of contemporary experienceâ€ť (The Boston Globe).
The Year We Left Home: A Novel
ISBN: 1439175888 Simon & Schuster. 2011 In this mesmerizing saga of one ordinary American familyĂ˘â‚¬â€ťproud, flawed, hopefulĂ˘â‚¬â€ťnavigating the tumultuous final decades of the American century, Jean Thompson delivers a sweeping, powerful novel that simultaneously captures the turbulent history of the country at large. Spanning from the early 1970s in the Iowa farmlands to contemporary Chicago and far beyond, The Year We Left Home is a vivid, moving meditation on our continual pursuit of happiness and an incisive exploration of our national character.
The Humanity Project
ISBN: 0399158715 Blue Rider Press. 2013 From the New York Times bestselling author of The Year We Left Home, a dazzling new novel already being hailed as an â€śinstantly addictive...tale of yearning, paradox, and hope.â€ť (Booklist)
After surviving a shooting at her high school, Linnea is packed off to live with her estranged father, Art, who doesnâ€™t quite understand how he has suddenly become responsible for raising a sullen adolescent girl. Artâ€™s neighbor, Christie, is a nurse distracted by an eccentric patient, Mrs. Foster, who has given Christie the reins to her Humanity Project, a bizarre and well-endowed charity fund. Just as mysteriously, no one seems to know where Conner, the Fostersâ€™ handyman, goes after work, but he has become the one person Linnea can confide in, perhaps because his own home life is a war zone: his father has suffered an injury and become addicted to painkillers. As these characters and many more hurtle toward their fates, the Humanity Project is born: Can you indeed pay someone to be good? At what price?
Thompson proves herself at the height of her powers in The Humanity Project, crafting emotionally suspenseful and thoroughly entertaining characters, in which we inevitably see ourselves. Set against the backdrop of current events and cultural calamity, it is at once a multifaceted ensemble drama and a deftly observant story of our twenty-first-century society.