Education: Graduated from Barnard College and the Columbia University School of Journalism.
Home—Los Angeles, CA.
Freelance writer. Former staff writer for Los Angeles Times.
Two-time winner of Penney-Missouri Journalism Award; best fiction prize, Southern California Booksellers Association, 2006, for Literacy and Longing in L.A.
(With Karen Mack) Literacy and Longing in L.A. (novel), Delacorte (New York, NY), 2006.
Jennifer Kaufman, a former Los Angeles Times staff writer, and Karen Mack, a Golden Globe Award-winning film producer, are the authors of the 2006 novel Literacy and Longing in L.A. Asked to describe the collaborative process, Kaufman told Orange County Register interviewer Valerie Takahama that Mack jump starts their efforts. "We write about five hours a day, and she's the motivator and the starter," Kaufman stated. "And then once she gets momentum going, we become like musicians. One of us does the words and one of us does the melody and we switch off. We get into a rhythm. I don't know what it is, but we always connect."
Literacy and Longing in L.A. concerns a thirty-five-year-old, soon-to-be-divorced journalist named Dora, after celebrated author Eudora Welty. To combat her growing melancholy, Dora binges on books, spending hours flipping through the latest paperbacks while soaking in the tub and sipping wine. "As a character who carries around a nonfiction literary history of Henry James and plans to read it at the hairdresser's, she surely has the potential to be annoying," Janet Maslin wrote in the New York Times Book Review. "But she is hapless and candid enough to be endearing, and the book fetish strongly works in her favor." Despite having unresolved feelings for her husband, Dora enters an unlikely romance with Fred, a struggling playwright who works at the local bookstore. "Dora is a charming character, and readers will appreciate some of her more neurotic tendencies," observed Emily Cook in Booklist. A Kirkus Reviews critic similarly noted: "Dora is the kind of deadpan and imperfect heroine with whom readers can easily identify."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 1, 2006, Emily Cook, review of Literacy and Longing in L.A., p. 72.
Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), July 5, 2006, review of Literacy and Longing in L.A., p. R3.
Library Journal, May 15, 2006, Christine DeZelar-Tiedman, review of Literacy and Longing in L.A., p. 89.
New York Times Book Review, June 19, 2006, Janet Maslin, review of Literacy and Longing in L.A.
Orange County Register, July 11, 2006, Valerie Takahama, "It Takes Two: Kaufman, Mack," review of Literacy and Longing in L.A.
Publishers Weekly, April 24, 2006, review of Literacy and Longing in L.A., p. 38.
USA Today, June 8, 2006, Patty Rhule, Jocelyn McClurg, and Donna Freydkin, "Roundup: First Novels," review of Literacy and Longing in L.A., p. 5D.
Literacy and Longing in L.A. Web site,http://www.literacyandlonginginla.com (February 25, 2007).