Jennifer Finney Boylan is Professor of English at Colby College in Maine and the author of the bestseller Shes Not There, as well as the acclaimed novels The Planets and Getting In. In addition to her novels, Boylan has penned a collection of short stories, three memoirs, and six young adult books, four of them written under a pseudonym. A three-time guest of The Oprah Winfrey Show, she has also appeared on Larry King Live, Today, NPR's Marketplace, and 48 Hours, and has played herself on ABCs All My Children. Boylan has spoken widely about gender, diversity and imagination at conferences, colleges, law firms, and bookstores across the country.
She lives in Belgrade Lakes, Maine with her family.
Jennifer Finney Boylan's website
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Jennifer Finney Boylan discusses "I'm Looking Through You"
I'm Looking Through You takes place in the atmospheric and very palpable
setting of Pennsylvania in what you describe as the Coffin House. In fact,
the house itself is one of your memoir's more prominent characters. Please explain.
I believe that people's characters are shaped, in part, by the houses in which they live. Surely this house has left its mark on me. For a long time I think I felt, in spite of my sense of humor, that I was a fundamentally "haunted" person, and I wondered, for years, how I was going to make peace with my many ghosts.
The Coffin House - named after its builder, Lemuel Coffin, was a three story Victorian eyesore, in the suburbs of Philadelphia, on the Main Line. It had a creepy lightless attic, in which we occasionally heard mysterious footsteps, and a vast dusty basement, in one corner of which was a sign that said, "BILL HUNT: LABOROTORY." In the deed to the house, Coffin had said that at no time in the future could the property be used for "a glue factory, a tavern, a starch factory, or other offensive purposes." At the time we worried that this meant we ...
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