This Livestream is presented by Princeton Public Library. Editor and author Kerri Sullivan discusses the newly published “New Jersey Fan Club: Artists and Writers Celebrate the Garden State” with several of the anthology’s contributors.
Despite the many jokes and stereotypes about New Jersey and its residents, the state is a wildly diverse place, home to a vast variety of landscapes, cultures and people. There is no singular New Jersey experience, and the stories that its residents have to share about the state will surprise you.
“New Jersey Fan Club: Artists and Writers Celebrate the Garden State” from Rutgers University Press is an eclectic anthology featuring personal essays, interviews, and comics from a broad group of established and emerging writers and artists who have something to say about New Jersey. It offers a multifaceted look at the state’s history and significance, told through narrative nonfiction, photographs and illustrations.
“New Jersey Fan Club” is edited by Kerri Sullivan, founder of the popular Instagram account Jersey Collective (@jerseycollective), which features weekly takeovers by different New Jerseyans. This book functions the same way: it gives dozens of different contributors the chance to share what New Jersey looks like to them. The book is an exploration of how the same locale can shape people in different ways, and it will inspire readers to look at the Garden State with fresh eyes and appreciate its bounty of beautiful places and vibrant spaces.
Panelists appearing at the Book Brunch in alphabetical order are as follows:
Linda J. Barth has written two books on the D&R Canal and three children’s books, in addition to “A History of Inventing in New Jersey and New Jersey Originals.” She taught in the Bridgewater-Raritan School District for 25 years. She is the director of the League of Historical Societies and president of the D&R Canal Watch.
Brittany Coppla is a writer from New Jersey, now living in Chicago. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College and has been published in Adroit, Carve Magazine, Barren Magazine and more. Her work is inspired by food, memory and the people and places she calls home.
Lorraine Goodmanhas holds a BA from Princeton and a master’s from NYU/Stern. She has performed on Broadway. She runs the Trenton-based non-profit Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund and spends her weekends developing her cruciverbalist skills.
Pooja Makhijani is the editor of “Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America” and the author of “Mama’s Saris.” Her bylines have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, The Atlantic, The Cut, Bon Appétit, Saveur, BuzzFeed, and more. She had a Notable essay in The Best American Food Writing 2019.
Kerri Sullivan is the editor of New Jersey Fan Club: Artists & Writers Celebrate the Garden State (Rutgers University Press) and the founder of Jersey Collective. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Catapult, Podcast Review, and elsewhere. She is from Monmouth County but now lives in Essex County.