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Jan Elizabeth Watson biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Jan Elizabeth Watson

Jan Elizabeth Watson

Jan Elizabeth Watson Biography

Jan Elizabeth Watson was born in Washington DC and spent nearly a decade in New York City, where she received her MFA from Columbia University. She has worked extensively as an editor, copywriter, and adjunct professor of creative writing. Asta in the Wings is her first novel. She lives in Maine and has one child, a daughter.



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Interview

Asta in the Wings is your first published novel. Is it the first novel you wrote?
When I was about twenty years old, I wrote a twelve hundred page novel called Tresunder Manor, which was sort of a cross between a Victorian “cozy” mystery and a novel of psychological suspense. (I think I was reading a lot of Ruth Rendell at the time.) My writing in this early novel was earnest but mostly turgid—unreadable, really-- and the files on which the manuscript was kept were lost long ago—which is no great loss, all things considered. But it was useful to attempt a sustained narrative and to learn from all its mistakes.

Asta was your thesis when you were an MFA student at Columbia. What did you gain from pursuing an MFA? Did you receive feedback that helped you bring the novel to its completed state?
I submitted a prototype of the first couple of chapters of Asta to my MFA workshops and noticed right away that the story elicited a mixed response; people either loved the writing or were baffled by it. I figured that any novel that draws such polarized responses couldn’t be all bad, so that gave me the impetus to forge ahead and turn it into a thesis-length work, which eventually became a springboard for the ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Jan Elizabeth Watson at BookBrowse
What Has Become of You jacket Asta in the Wings jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Jan Elizabeth Watson but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Chris Adrian

    Chris Adrian

    Chris Adrian was born in Washington, D.C. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he is currently a medical student in Virginia. Part of this novel first appeared in The New Yorker under the title 'Every Night ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Asta in the Wings

    Try:
    A Better Angel
    by Chris Adrian

  • Peter Bognanni

    Peter Bognanni

    Peter Bognanni is a writer currently based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. His first novel, The House of Tomorrow, is out now from Amy Einhorn Books (Putnam). He attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop not long ago, and his short ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Asta in the Wings

    Try:
    The House of Tomorrow
    by Peter Bognanni

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