Sapin, Jean

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Sapin, Jean

PERSONAL: Surname is pronounced “Say-pin”; born in New York, NY; married Samuel O. Sapin (a physician); children: Peter, Andrew. Ethnicity: “White.” Education: Pratt Institute, B.F.A.; California State University, Northridge, M.A. Hobbies and other interests: Theater, movies, concerts, art exhibitions, travel.

ADDRESSES: Home—Sherman Oaks, CA. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: Writer. Modern Merchandising (fashion advertising company), New York, NY, worked as commercial artist. Docent at Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Norton Simon Museum of Art; tour guide for L.A. Art: Art and Architecture of Los Angeles; taught art appreciation classes in adult education program at Beverly Hills High School.


Gift Giver (suspense novel), Creative Arts Book Co. (Berkeley, CA), 2000.

Contributor to magazines and newspapers, including Artweek and Los Angeles Times. Editor, American Art Council Newsletter, 1977-88.

SIDELIGHTS: Jean Sapin once told CA: “I started drawing at age three and writing stories at eight, and I have been involved in some form of the arts ever since. My early married life was spent in a one-room apartment in lower Manhattan, where in the evenings, while my medical-student husband hit the textbooks, I read all the fiction I could lay my hands on: Hemingway, Faulkner, Dos Passos, John O’Hara, Philip Roth, John Updike, and William Saroyan. During the day I worked in the art department of an advertising agency.

“Two babies and one medical degree later, we moved to Los Angeles, where, as soon as my kids were in school, I started to paint again. I managed to exhibit, sell, and even win a few awards. My involvement with the Docent Council of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the many interviews I did with art collectors for the American Art Council Newsletter stimulated me to go back to school and earn a master’s degree in art history. It also inspired me to start writing almost fulltime, something I have been doing ever since.

“My husband and I now make our home in the Santa Monica mountains, and when I’m not at my computer, we enjoy theater, movies, concerts, and art exhibitions. We have two married sons and four grandchildren. In recent years I have read the work of women writers like Anne Tyler, Ann Beattie, Margaret Atwood, and Anita Brookner.

“Although I’ve ridden a camel across the sands of Cairo, climbed the Mayan temples at Tikal, and seen the Taj Mahal under a full moon, one of my most memorable moments occurred in Kotzebue, Alaska, an Eskimo town fifty miles north of the Arctic Circle. Seated behind my elder son’s dog team, I was whisked at breakneck pace across solitary miles of frozen tundra—a ride I will never forget.

“I still spend most of my days at the computer, however, writing, writing, writing.”*