Janet Benton



Janet Benton


Philadelphia, PA, USA


Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

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I’m a writer, editor, and writers’ mentor. My debut novel LILLI DE JONG is the diary of an unwed Quaker mother in 1883 Philadelphia who decides to try to keep her baby despite fierce prejudice. It was a Library Journal and an NPR Best Book of 2017 and won much praise for its moving portrayal of a mother-infant bond and of a strong mother in difficult circumstances. My work has appeared in the New York Times Modern Love column, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and elsewhere. I hold an M.F.A. from the Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst and a B. A. in religious studies from Oberlin College. I’ve worked hard to give books a central place in her life. My family history has made me highly aware of the power of the mother-infant bond and of the need to stand up for outcasts. After working at magazines, newspapers, and publishers and teaching writing at four universities, I began The Word Studio (http://www.thewordstudio.us) to offer workshops and mentoring to writers. I’m a married mother of one daughter. I love to talk with readers by Skype, online, and in person. I’d love to visit with your group! Lilli de Jong is available in hardcover, paperback, e-book, audio book, and large print.


A Library Journal’s Best Book 2017, Historical Fiction

A National Public Radio Best Book of 2017

Bustle, The 17 Best Debut Novels by Women in 2017

Finalist, The Langum Prize in American Historical Fiction 2017

Goodreads Semifinalist, Choice Awards 2017, Historical Fiction

An Amazon Best Book of May 2017 in Literature/Fiction

Book Club Books 2017, selected for InStyle UK by Erin Woodward, Girly Book Club

One of Pure Wow Book Club’s Books to Read in May

One of Barnes and Noble’s Nook Book READOUTS in Fiction

Summer Book Pick from Book Bub, libraries, newspapers, and others.

Best Historical Fiction 2017: 22 Books You Don’t Want to Miss

18 New Historical Fiction Novels to Read with Your Book Club

The Biggest Debut Novels 2017: Breakthrough Books to Add to Your List

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Lilli de Jong


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Lilli de Jong

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