Lisa Pliscou is a graduate of Harvard University and a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. She writes for children and adults. Among her books are the novel Higher Education, praised by David Foster Wallace as “an authorial coup,” and Young Jane Austen: Becoming a Writer, a biography for teens and adults named by Foreword as a Book of the Year.
Now she is launching Brave Jane Austen: Reader, Writer, Author, Rebel and chose this very lucky blog to make a giveaway! Below you can take a look inside the book (courtesy of Macmillan Publishing), read Lisa’s own words about the book, learn more about her and especially find out how you can win one of 2 (two) hardcover copies of this lovely book right here! Yes! There will be 2 (two) winners!
BRAVE JANE AUSTEN ACCORDING TO LISA:
The impetus for my writing Brave Jane Austen: Reader, Writer, Author, Rebel, came from my lifelong habit of rooting for the underdog. And Jane Austen was one. She really is — cue “Gonna Fly Now” — a kind of “Rocky” in the literary world.
When I learned how, with phenomenal grit and perseverance, Austen overcame huge challenges to find her way as a writer and an author, I knew this was an important story I wanted to share with young readers and their grownups. It’s an especially appropriate one in our own time, when a book like Paul Tough’s How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character receives so much well-deserved attention.
I also have a kind of empathetic affinity for Jane’s experiences as a child. She and I both grew up in areas that were far from cultural and intellectual centers — she in a tiny country village in England, I in Mexican beach towns and rural California. We both lived in homes where books, education, ideas, and laughter were greatly valued. We both were avid readers, and ‘scribblers,’ from a very early age. And we both were fortunate to have families who encouraged our creativity.
In thinking about Jane’s early life, I love these words from renowned Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner, quoted in The Creative Spirit: “The most important thing at the beginning is for an individual to feel some kind of emotional connection to something.” Albert Einstein, for example, developed a fascination for physics when he was only five years old.
Gardner believes that “childhood moments are one key to understanding creative lives. Without that initial love and emotional connection, I think that the chances of doing good creative work, later on, are minimal. . . . But the initial intoxication is not enough in itself. It essentially moves you to take steps to learn more about the thing that first interests you, and to discover its complexities, its difficulties, its strengths and obscurities.”
He goes on: “From that initial love of doing something comes persistence. People who care passionately about what they are doing don’t give up easily. When frustration comes, they persist. When people are resistant to their innovation, they keep going anyway. As Thomas Edison said, ‘Sticking to it is the genius!’”
Which Jane — despite many setbacks — did.
RULES FOR THE GIVEAWAY SPONSORED BY MACMILLAN PUBLISHING:
- Subscribe to this blog (so you can find out about the next giveaway)
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TAKE THOSE 3 STEPS AND YOU’LL HAVE 2 (TWO) CHANCES TO WIN!
Thanks for participating and good luck!
Rita L. Watts