Jessica Keener

STRANGERS IN BUDAPEST - my new novel with Algonquin Books, coming Fall 2017

Dear Book Clubs, Libraries, Special Groups: I'm happy to Skype or visit with you in person. Contact me via Facebook, Twitter or email to set up a date. Thank you.


"Book clubs will find a lot to talk about [Night Swim], including parenting, grieving, teen sex, sibling relationships, and the healing power of music. In addition, book clubs will want to discuss how far mental health care has come in the last forty years in terms of diagnosis, therapy, and pharmaceuticals." Candace for SheKnows.com, January magazine

"Night Swim can be read on multiple levels... Beautifully written...perfect for book clubs."
BethFishReads

Night Swim launch party, Brookline Booksmith

Women in Bed, past events (a sampling)


Oct. 30, 2014 - Brookline Booksmith, panel on "writing across gender"
Oct 25, 2014 - Boston Book Festival, panel on love and loss in fiction
Sept. 2014 - Congregation Beth Israel of the Merrimack Valleys Sisterhood; Andover, MA, Book talk
May 2014 - Connecticut writers conference
April 2014 - Newburyport Literary Festival
March 2014 - Virginia Book Festival - panelist w/​Caroline Leavitt, Leora Skolkin-Smith
Feb 12, 2014 - Brookline Booksmith- with Gina Frangello, Mary Elizabeth Pope
November 2014 - Authors for Indie Bookstores Day- Brookline Booksmith
October 21 - Psychology Today
October 21 - E. Dennis Memorial Library, 2 p.m. (Cape Cod)
October 19 - Boston Book Festival, panelist, Being and Becoming: Identity in Fiction
October 15 - SheWrites
October 9, 2013 - Newtonville Books, Newton Centre, MA 7 p.m.
October 1, 2013 (pub date) - Brookline Booksmith, release party; 7 pm
September 27 - DearReader.com

More past NIGHT SWIM events:

APRIL 2013, Temple Shalom, Book Club Salon,West Newton, MA
MARCH 2013, Book Club, Tucson, AZ
Tucson Festival of Books, AZ
FEBRUARY 2013
First PERSON, second STORY: AN AUTHOR EVENT
with Joan Wickersham, Dawn Tripp (moderator), Jill Picariello,New Bedford, MA
JANUARY 2013
Book Club, Newton Centre, MA
Book Club/​Skype, Atlanta, GA
DECEMBER 2012
Writing class/​Skype, Alabama
Night Swim on best of 2012; Girlfriends Book Club
NOVEMBER
Book Club/​Skype, N. California
OCTOBER
Boston Book Festival, Reading, Q & A in the forum at 4 p.m.
with Ilie Ruby, Michael Lowenthal
SEPTEMBER
Samford University, Writing Class/​Skype, Birmingham, AL
Shewrites.com
Night Swim Q&A with Joyce Norman
Dennis Memorial Library, Cape Cod, author talk
JUNE
Book club guest, Newton, MA

May 2012
Reading: Back Pages Books with Jennifer Haigh, Waltham, MA
Backspace Writers Conference, NYC - Fiction panelist
Center for Fiction, NYC; discussion panel
Book club guest, Old Westbury Country Club, NY
Book club guest, Lexington, MA
Mrs. Michelle Obama Luncheon, Wash. DC, Washington Hilton
Grub St. Muse & Marketplace panel
APRIL 2012
Reading: Books and Books, Miami, FL (Coral Gables)
April 23 - Radio guest, WCRN 830 Am talk radio- New England's largest radio station. Talking with Hank Stoltz. 12:30.
April 12 -Reading: The Spiral Bookcase, Philadelphia, PA
MARCH 2012
March 30, 31 Maine Festival of the Book in Portland.
March 28 - Other People podcast interview with Brad Listi, episode #56 http:/​/​otherpeoplepod.com/​archives/​665
Author Exposure - Night Swim review by Joan Hanna
Improper Bostonian: Night Swim in Spring issue
March 2 - Dire Literary Series, Cambridge, MA. Reading at: Out of the Blue Art Gallery with poets Amish Trivedi and Dennis Daly.
FEBRUARY 2012
Writerhead post - cool site, cool idea; brainchild of novelist, Kristin Bair O'Keeffe
TLC Book tour thru Feb. 24. Go to TLC Book Tours site for links to 20 Night Swim reviews. A great run, and a great opportunity.
February 9 - Newtonville Books reading with novelist Hannah Pittard.7 p.m.
Feb. 2 - Featured "Newton Person of the Week" in Newton Tab paper.

JANUARY 2012
Jan. 27 - Review by Robby Auld on The Nervous Breakdown
Jan. 21 -Reading with Robin Kall Homonoff - Saturday morn. talk radio show, all about books & authors. 920whjj.com streams live 7-8 a.m. Robcasts.
Jan. 19 - The New York Times, Newly Released Books: Night Swim reviewed
Jan. 16 - DearReader.com Feature fiction selection of the week, read opening pages of Night Swim online, every day for five days.
Jan. 15 - The Boston Globe, Sunday Book section: Night Swim reviewed
Jan. 15 - Sunday Salon - a reading series in NYC, at Jimmy's No. 43 (43 E. 7th). Joining Terese Svoboda (The Bohemian Girl), and debut author Paul Kerschen (The Drowned Library).
Jan. 13 - Sheknows: Book Lounge, January Book Review of Night Swim by Candace
Jan. 13 - #litchat - join me on this twitter forum that More Magazine listed in their top 20 twitter worthy sites. 4-5 p.m. Friday.
Jan. 12 - Beyond the Margins interview with Robin Elizabeth Black, author of the stupendous collection: If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This.
Jan. 10 - Large hearted Boy's wonderful website. Book notes-- my playlist of songs to highlight Night Swim (that is filled with late 60s,early 70s song references).
January 10, 2012 - StyleSubstanceSoul Book review by Anna March
Jan. 10 - BU Today, feature book review and interview.
Jan. 10 - TLC Book Tour commences
*JANUARY 10 - Brookline Booksmith Launch party - 7 p.m. celebrate my debut with cake and goodies!
Jan. 9 - DallasNews.com picks up BethFishReads review of Night Swim
January 9 - BethFishReads Review: "Night Swim can be read on multiple levels... Beautifully written...perfect for book clubs."
January 6 - Psychology Today: Interview about Night Swim
January 1, 2012 - The Nervous Breakdown: Fiction/​Self-interview plus excerpt

Praise for Night Swim
"Like the adults in Rick Moody’s “Ice Storm,” the central couple in this novel of 1970s suburbia are remote alcoholics. “Love was something distant that retired to a room on the second floor,” Sarah, the 16-year-old narrator, says, referring to her stay-at-home yet absentee mother. This is a woman who makes a divot in the soil for her drink glass while tending her roses...This earnest debut centers on Sarah as she tunnels through new depths of loneliness...moving."
"Keener’s prose is spectacular, almost poetic. I found myself rereading many of the passages just to experience the beauty of her written word. She gives the reader the gift of a wonderful, honest, coming-of-age story. At just under 300 pages it is not a long read, but one that will resonate. "
“vivid…dreamlike quality. Keener's evocation of a young woman coming into her own is … moving.”
"Keener’s observations perfectly capture a certain kind of 1970s adolescence: the adults who tried too hard, the sudden appearance of a joint when in the presence of older cousins, the way a grownup party could spin from fun to disturbing in a blink. Most exhilaratingly, she taps into the thrilling moments when a girl of 16 can see her future, whether in music or books or a boy’s smile. Sarah watches her mother’s rose garden after her death. Like her children, some “bloomed haphazardly while some wilted,’’ a living symbol of what goes on, no matter what."
"Rooted in personal sorrow, this memorable debut will strike a universal chord with readers: "Life was full of befores and afters."
"Keener understands deeply that scene writing creates powerful moments for her characters. We learn of Sarah’s irritation, fear, reticence, and desire not through discussion, but through her actions and interactions with others. And Keener’s writing is lovely; she manages to build sentences that are both precise and ornate. While Keener’s Night Swim tells of a girl who has lost her bearings, her hold on her novel is both assured and poised."
"Jessica Keener's debut novel Night Swim is a masterfully told tale. Dysfunctional family dynamics are revealed in language evocative and honest, and her characters so well-drawn they could be our own kin. The emotional depth of this novel has me constantly recommending it to friends in book clubs."
About Night Swim
"Set in 1970's Boston high-society, Night Swim tells the tale of the Kunitz family, who hide their deep tensions behind a shimmering facade of parties and affluence before tragedy breaks their stable dance." (Brookline Booksmith)
Feature articles
About a hundred feature articles published in The Boston Globe and other national magazines. Google my name as Jessica Keener or Jessica Brilliant Keener