Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Forever in Blue

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Forever in Blue

The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood

by Ann Brashares

Forever in Blue by Ann Brashares
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2007, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2008, 416 pages

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Ann Brashares grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland with her three brothers and attended a Quaker school in the DC area called Sidwell Friends. She studied Philosophy at Barnard College, part of Columbia University in New York City. Expecting to continue studying philosophy in graduate school, Ann took a year off after college to work as an editor, hoping to save money for school. Loving her job, she never went to graduate school, and instead, remained in New York City and worked as an editor for many years. Ann made the transition from editor to full-time writer with her first novel, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

When asked where the idea for the Traveling Pants series came from she replies:

"It started with a conversation. A woman I used to work with, a dear friend, Jodi Anderson, talked about a summer where she and her friends had shared a pair of pants that wound up being lost. It was sad, but I loved the idea - a concrete thing in the middle of a great big, amorphous, rich world of fiction."

Brashares and her husband, 42-year-old portrait painter Jacob Collins, live in a four-story building on Water Street in New York with their three children, Susannah, Nate and Sam, who range in age from about 6 to 12. Jacob runs two classical painting schools, one of which, the Water Street Atelier, used to meet at their house but now has its own location. In late 2006 the New York Times described Jacob as "the ringleader of a group of youngish painters devoted to classical techniques" with a style that is "so out, it may be in again". He was recently named one of the art world's most powerful people by Art & Auction magazine, and lately his paintings have been selling for as much as $125,000.

They met when Brashares was 18 and he was 21. He was a junior at Columbia, and she was a freshman at Barnard; his father, Arthur Collins, was one of her philosophy professors. During their first encounter, in the library, he sketched her portrait.


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This article was originally published in January 2007, and has been updated for the April 2008 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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