Texts from Jane Eyre: Mallory Ortberg in Conversation with Rachel Fershleiser

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 7:00pm

Celebrate the launch of TEXTS FROM JANE EYRE with author Mallory Ortberg; Mallory will be in conversation with Tumblr's Rachel Fershleiser.

Mallory Ortberg’s TEXTS FROM JANE EYRE And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters (Henry Holt; on sale: November 4, 2014) is a laugh-out-loud collection of imagined text conversations, featuring all the characters you know and love (but like you’ve never heard them before).

When Charlotte Brontë published Jane Eyre in 1847, more than a century before the advent of cell phones, the protagonist Jane had to endure the agony of a face-to-face confrontation with St. John in order to reject his romantic invitation to India. In the brilliant imagination of Mallory Ortberg, their awkward exchange is amplified with cell phones and when re-written via text, Jane’s obvious discomfort and St. John’s woeful ignorance are brought to life in a way that’s both fresh and familiar.

Ortberg masterfully applies this method to characters across the canon, from Plato and the Wife of Bath to Nancy Drew and Ron Weasley (and everyone in between), zeroing in on character flaws and magnifying them to great comedic effect. If Scarlett O’Hara had an unlimited data plan, she’d try to tempt Ashley away from Melanie with suggestive messages. Hamlet would bicker with his mother. Daisy Buchanan would not only text while driving, she’d text you to pick her up after she totals her car. Cathy and Heathcliff would send impassioned messages back and forth for hours. And, of course, Mrs. Bennett would still try to fix her daughters up with eligible suitors.

Witty and irreverent, TEXTS FROM JANE EYRE is a must-read for any book lover and brings the characters from your favorite books into the twenty-first century.

Mallory Ortberg is the co-creator of The Toast (, a general-interest website geared toward women. She has written for Gawker, New York Magazine, The Hairpin, and The Atlantic. She lives in the Bay Area.

Rachel Fershleiser works on Tumblr’s outreach team, specializing in publishing, nonprofit, and cultural organizations. Previously she was the community manager at Bookish and the director of public programs at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, where she now serves on the board of directors. She is also the co-creator of Six-Word Memoirs and co-editor of the New York Times bestseller Not Quite What I Was Planning and three other books. Her Kickstarter campaign, with Ami Greko, for Stock Tips: A Zine about Soup earned 13 times its initial funding goal.

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