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Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing Hardcover – October 11, 2016
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Praise for Hungry Heart:
"You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll want to read it again." (The Skimm)
“In this generous, entertaining memoir, novelist Weiner, known for her plus-size heroines, authentic voice, and hilarious one-liners, offers her fans and others a front-row seat to the drama of her life. Weiner doggedly pursues her dream of becoming a writer who speaks to women’s lives, insisting—and proving—that women’s stories matter, and not just those of the slim and beautiful. Like her enormously popular commercial fiction, from its very first page this memoir will enthusiastically reach out to female readers and swiftly draw them close." (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Hungry Heart is a fiercely funny, powerfully smart, and remarkably brave book. With candor, wit, and insight, Jennifer Weiner writes beautifully about her darkest struggles and brightest triumphs, about growing up and getting on with it, about gaining and losing, about herself and also—ultimately—about all of us. I was spellbound by Hungry Heart from the first page to the last.” (Cheryl Strayed, New York Times bestselling author of Wild)
"Bestselling novelist Weiner has hit it out of the park with this moving collection of autobiographical essays." (New York Post)
"In her new memoir, Hungry Heart, Weiner turns her understanding eye on her most compelling character yet—herself—and reveals the story behind some of her most beloved books. You'll laugh, you'll cry—and in true Jen style, there's a happy ending." (Good Housekeeping)
“Weiner lays her heart bare in this memoir, which is insightful and affecting and affirms exactly why she is so popular—she is gifted in the ability to write honestly and easily.“ (Booklist)
"I'm mad Jennifer's Weiner's first book of essays is as wonderful as her fiction. You will love this book and wish she was your friend." (Mindy Kaling, author of Why Not Me?)
“Haven't we all wondered exactly how the many-splendored Jennifer Weiner became so many-splendored? This candid, poignant, and very funny memoir tells all, and I'm confident other readers will be as fascinated and moved by it as I was.” (Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times bestselling author)
"Funny, fierce, feisty!" (Glamour)
About the Author
Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of fourteen books, including Good in Bed, The Littlest Bigfoot, and her memoir Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing. A graduate of Princeton University and contributor to the New York Times Opinion section, Jennifer lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com.
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"I left Princeton with a transcript full of As and summa cum laude on my diploma...Out in the world, I tried, as hard as I could, to believe in my own worth..."
A challenge made immeasurably more difficult by the fact that Jennifer Weiner isn't a size 2, or even a 12. The book chronicles her difficulties around weight, trying to learn self-acceptance in spite of a larger self. I think most women will cry in recognition of the devaluation we feel when all we are is distilled into the single dimension of looks. (I once overheard a "close friend" - I guess, not really - say about me, "She'd be okay if she lost 30 pounds." As hard as I had worked to be a good person, a standout employee, a loyal citizen--well, you never forget.)
By the time her first book is sold, the reader delights in the happy ending--except we're only halfway through the book, yay.
At this point, JW takes a side trip into her present-day life of social media ups and downs; an ardent feminist (thank you) and cultural observer, she learns the hard way that Twitter is a rough playground at times. She comments on the sexism in the literary world and is vindicated (although by all indications, it's alive and well, still). It's funny and annoying and interesting.
Then she returns to memoir with the description of her father's death, and the horrifying revelations subsequently unearthed. Human beings are complicated, and her father was a heartbreaking example. Again, another relatable, compelling part of her story--some relationships will never be resolved, and our challenge is to adapt and thrive in spite of the pain.
I'm not sure why Jennifer Weiner wrote this memoir, but it seemed generous that she would. In telling of her challenges and failures, she demonstrates how a person might persevere; in calling out the challenges and failures of our culture, she illuminates where we might do better. And through all of it, she keeps her sense of humor, laughing at herself and with us. A wonderful book. I recommend it.
There are numerous scenes in the book with her mother, grandmother and sister, where I could swear I had very similar conversations with my mother, grandmother and sister. I have never laughed so hard. While the car trips to Michigan were a bit painful to read, she found the funny side and her essay about her sister, praised by a well-regarded professor while at Princeton, made me immediately want me to call my own sister and read it aloud to her. Weiner’s ability to capture her experiences in a narrative, both sad and funny are a true gift.
Many years ago, I read her first, breakthrough book, GOOD IN BED, and had I known her history, I would have devoured her subsequent books. Knowing what I know now about her, I have a newfound respect for her, her determination for her craft, her intelligence and her struggle.
She is a fighter. For women, women’s rights, authors who are regarded as not as significant if their work is written 'only for women', and someone who has studied and mastered the art of writing as well as storytelling, and was at the forefront of creating a genre, which she didn’t even realize at the time, and that just might have encouraged more people to read. How could you not love and respect her.
You do not need to have read any of Weiner’s fiction to appreciate her memoir. It is a laugh out loud and sensitive look at a young girl-to-woman’s history of how she became confident, learned to love herself, and became a stand-out writer of her own volition.
Hungry Heart reads like one of Weiner's novels -- a mix of colorful, real-life characters and deeply-personal, heartwarming stories with a mirror into the struggles the author faced (and in some cases still faces) in her life.
As a woman of the same age and a lover of Weiner's books, I thoroughly enjoyed the stories, the insights and the refreshing perspective that Weiner shares. I felt that I could relate to so much in this book and truly appreciate the honestly with which she shares her observations and life lessons. I look forward to the addendum she will no doubt need to write in thirty years!