Friday, July 31, 2009

Jennifer Brown (George Mason Class of 2012)

Hi there. I’m Jennifer Brown, a former actress, turned lawyer, turned magazine editor, turned MFA candidate at George Mason University's program. Yep, I gave up a career as a tax attorney and editor of a national magazine to pursue my dream of writing a novel --- and I couldn’t be more excited!

I’m on the older side --- 38. I live in a little house in Falls Church, Virginia that is about a 30 minute drive from GMU’s campus with my boyfriend and a large Maine Coon cat. I already lived here in Northern VA, so I didn’t have to move for school, which is great. My classes start on August 31 --- “Forms of Fiction,” “Setting,” and a Mark Twain lit class. I write pretty short stuff --- most of my stories are about 2500 words. I write some flash too. I’m unpublished but submitting. Most of my stuff is heavy on setting, and most of it is set in the Shenandoah Valley where my boyfriend has a little house on a river. For some strange reason I love writing about grass and fields.

Finally, I haven’t even started school yet but I’ve already got a homework story for you. Check this out: In early May I get an email on my George Mason account directed to those of us registered in this fall’s “Setting” class. It reads something to the effect of “please read (or reread) Moby Dick over the summer.” And that is it. So I proceed to read (not reread) Moby Dick. After almost two months I am about three quarters of the way through the book, and another email comes in: “Please read or reread Moby-Dick, marking in particular those passages where Ishmael uses metaphors of land to describe the sea.” Good lord. MFA homework has begun. I guess I’ll be re-reading Moby Dick after all.


  1. ummm I just googled "How many pages is Moby Dick?" lol It's good that you're getting to read it since it's referenced so much in pop culture. I never completely get the references since I've never read it. I am jealous that you don't have to move! lol

  2. I can't believe they did that to you 3/4 of the way through! Ha, yikes. And I think it's awesome that you're following your true dream, in spite of already being successful in other areas.

  3. I still haven't read Moby Dick. I even have a copy someone got for me that's been sitting on my bookshelf for a couple of years. The sheer mass of the book is intimidating. How'd you like it out of curiosity? I hear it teaches you more about whaling that you would ever need to know in a lifetime.

  4. Keely -- It definitely teaches more about whaling than one could ever need to know. If Moby Dick were an MFA thesis today, I'm willing to bet everyone would insist that "the whaling parts" be cut as not adding to the story. But the writing is so beautiful that I haven't minded it being so long. I'm glad to have finally read it.

  5. Hey Jennifer - I just got an acceptance from George Mason for this fall. Would you be willing to talk about how you like it there via e-mail?


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