PERSONAL: Born in Houston, TX. Education: Vassar College, B.A.; University of York, M.A., Ph.D, 2004.
CAREER: Has worked a customer service representative, a paralegal, a bookstore clerk, a donor relations coordinator, and in a variety of office clerical jobs.
English as a Second Language (novel), Warner Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Everyone Else's Girl (novel), Warner Books (New York, NY), in press.
SIDELIGHTS: Megan Crane's first novel, English as a Second Language, tells the story of a young American woman who, working in an unsatisfying job as a paralegal after finishing college, decides to change her life by going to work on a master's degree at an British university. The background of the character, Alex Brennan, is similar to that of Crane, who also worked as a paralegal and attended graduate school in England. For the fictional Alex, at least, going to graduate school allows her a way out of her apparently dead-end situation, but it is also a means of postponing any serious career plans. In England she finds friends, enemies, and romance, and she succeeds at her studies for an advanced degree in English even though she has an active social life that revolves around drinking. She also reaches a new understanding of herself and faces up to some of her shortcomings.
Calling the novel "an engrossing, intelligent read," Library Journal contributor Anna M. Nelson deemed English as a Second Language superior to most of the entries in the genre known as "chick lit." A Publishers Weekly reviewer, however, deemed Crane's debut novel "an awkward jumble of a book," while allowing that the author displays "energy and effort." Melissa Parcel, writing for BookLoons.com, praised Crane's characters, calling Alex "endearing," the supporting players "hilarious," and the book overall as "enjoyable." Booklist commentator Beth Leistensnider summed up the novel as a "breezy but accurate take on twentysomethings."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July, 2004, Beth Leistensnider, review of English as a Second Language, p. 1816.
Library Journal, August, 2004, Anna M. Nelson, review of English as a Second Language, p. 64.
Publishers Weekly, June 21, 2004, review of English as a Second Language, p. 41.
Megan Crane Home Page, http://www.megancrane.com (February 28, 2005).