Jill Lepore biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Jill Lepore
Photo: Rose Lincoln

Jill Lepore

How to pronounce Jill Lepore: Jill luh-POOR

Jill Lepore Biography

Jill Lepore is a staff writer for the New Yorker. Her books include The Name of War, which won the Bancroft Prize; New York Burning, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history; Book of Ages, a finalist for the National Book Award; The Secret History of Wonder Woman; and the international bestseller, These Truths: A History of the United States. Later this year, she will publish her fourteenth book, If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future. Lepore received her Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale in 1995 and is the David Woods Kemper '41 Professor of American History at Harvard University.



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Interview

Jill Lepore discusses her nonfiction work: The Mansion of Happiness: A History of Life and Death

Q: You show how prevailing opinions about life and death can change the course of politics, and can in fact be dangerous. In your opinion, is there a particular lesson from the past that we need to take to heart as these debates and discussions of life continue?

A: There are only two lessons. 1. The past is not dispositive. 2. No day is a bad day to read E.B. White’s 1947 essay, “Death of a Pig.”

Q: You've taken on some of the biggest questions of the human condition in this book, and yet you've approached them through very familiar experiences: parenting fears, breastfeeding, board games, children's literature, adolescence, etc. How did you decide on this approach?

A: I didn't decide on that as an approach so much as it's just how my mind works. I spend a lot of time puzzling over the ordinary, wondering where things come from and why they are the way they are. Coffee cups, voting rights, traffic lights - anything, everything. Most things, the longer and harder you think about them, the bigger and harder the questions they raise. One day I was playing The Game of Life, spinning the Wheel of Fate and driving down the Highway of Life, and I thought, "Hey, where did this game come from, anyway?"

Q:...

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Books by this Author

Books by Jill Lepore at BookBrowse
If Then jacket The Mansion of Happiness jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Jill Lepore 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.
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  • Erica Brown

    Erica Brown

    Dr. Erica Brown is a writer and educator who works as the scholar-in-residence for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. She is the author of Inspired Jewish Leadership, a National Jewish Book Award finalist, and a ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Mansion of Happiness

    Try:
    Happier Endings
    by Erica Brown

  • Sebastian Junger

    Sebastian Junger

    Sebastian Junger grew up in suburban Massachusetts and graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in cultural anthropology in 1984 and has been a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in such magazines as Outside... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Mansion of Happiness

    Try:
    Tribe
    by Sebastian Junger

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View all 7 Readalikes

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