Vandever, Jennifer 1968–
Vandever, Jennifer 1968–
PERSONAL: Born 1968, in Portland, OR. Education: University of Oregon, B.A. (drama); Columbia University, M.F.A. (film).
CAREER: Screenwriter and novelist. Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle, WA, former director's assistant; Emerson College, Los Angeles, Burbank, CA, instructor.
AWARDS, HONORS: First place, Page International Screenwriting Awards, 2004, for screenplay Do Right Man.
The Brontë Project: A Novel of Passion, Desire, and Good PR, Shaye Areheart Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Also author of screenplays, including Do Right Man and Just One Time. Contributor of film reviews to periodicals, including Village Voice.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Screenplays, including The Cassandra Complex, Helen of Troy, What Goes Around, Natural Selection, and Viola Rose.
SIDELIGHTS: As a screenwriter, Jennifer Vandever developed the script for the feature film Just One Time with producer Lane Janger. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and is based on Janger's short of the same title which premiered at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. The plot involves a couple who agree to live out each other's sexual fantasies.
Vandever's debut novel, The Brontë Project: A Novel of Passion, Desire, and Good PR, was described as "a rollicking romp" by a Kirkus Reviews critic. Sarah Frost is teaching a low-level literature class at a New York university and working on her doctorate, which remains unfinished due to the fact that she has been unable to find the lost love letters of Charlotte Brontë. To add to her difficulties, the sexy and bold Claire Vigee arrives on campus as a visiting scholar. Claire has written a study of Princess Diana that portrays her as a "rebel with a great wardrobe," and promotes it heavily on talk shows and in women's publications. Claire convinces Sarah to participate in a symposium comparing their two subjects, and the passive Sarah loses her grant to complete her project. Tired of it all, Sara's fiancée, Paul, who calls her "the silent Victorian," calls off their marriage and goes off to Paris with a fellowship and a scholar named Therese. Sarah is approached by movie producer Byrne Emmons, who wants her to rewrite the story of the sisters, providing a happier ending for the movie he plans to make about their lives, and she becomes friendly with Mr. Ives and Mr. Burke, wealthy eccentrics who live as if they were in the nineteenth century. The other man who comes into her life is Denis, whose relationship to Claire is murky.
Booklist reviewer Kristine Huntley wrote that "Vandever paints a convincing portrait of a woman whose interests are somewhat out of synch with the modern world." A Publishers Weekly contributor observed that "Vandever leavens Sara's self-discovery with liberal comic relief in this wickedly clever novel."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 1, 2005, Kristine Huntley, review of The Brontë Project: A Novel of Passion, Desire, and Good PR, p. 67.
Boston Globe, October 9, 2005, Diane White, review of The Brontë Project.
Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2005, review of The Brontë Project, p. 710.
Library Journal, August 1, 2005, Stacy Alesi, review of The Brontë Project, p. 73.
Publishers Weekly, August 8, 2005, review of The Brontë Project, p. 212.
Agony, http://trashotron.com/ (November 26, 2005), review of The Brontë Project.
Best Reviews, http://thebestreviews.com/ (October 2, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of The Brontë Project.
Elle Online, http://www.elle.com/ (December 21, 2005), review of The Brontë Project.
Jennifer Vandever Home Page, http://www.jennifervandever.com (November 26, 2005).
Oregonian Online, http://www.oregonlive.com/ (October 7, 2005), Jeff Baker, "A Novel Approach to Desire, PR."
Pop Matters, http://www.popmatters.com/ (November 26, 2005), Stephen Tropiano, review of Just One Time.