Jayne Anne Phillips
The time between the completion of a manuscript and a book’s publication can be the calm before the storm, a bit of quiet respite for any writer. But for Jayne Anne Phillips, autumn 2008 marked not only the anticipation of a new novel coming out, but also the beginning of a school year at the Rutgers-Newark Master of Fine Arts Creative Writing program, which she launched two years ago and directs. Phillips has been busy bringing writers from all over the country to read at the program, recently named one of the top five up-and-coming graduate writing programs in the country, and Phillips is extending the department’s reach into Newark’s high schools and public libraries. She commutes home weekly to Boston, where her husband is a Harvard-affiliated physician, and spends time with her two sons, one an actor and the other a college student, both in New York City. And somewhere, between the commutes, her family, her teaching, her students, and the readers and writers of Newark, New Jersey, she found time to complete her fourth remarkable novel.