Author Jennifer Close Talks ‘Ketchups’ at Winnetka Book Booth – Chicago Tribune
Winnetka’s Book Stall recently hosted novelist Jennifer Close for a celebration of her new novel, “Marrying the Ketchups.”
Close, according to The Book Stall website, is a best-selling author of “Girls in White Dresses,” “The Smart One,” and “The Hopefuls,” who was born and raised in Glencoe and is a Boston College alumna. where she earned an MFA in fiction writing.
“‘Marrying the Ketchups’ is truly a witty and charming Chicago book, with a cast of characters living in many different lives – from a mother in Lake Forest to a restaurant server in Oak Park,” said said Stephanie Hochschild, owner of The Book. Stall.
The Thursday evening program was originally intended to be a conversation between Close and author Elizabeth Berg, who wrote “The Story of Arthur Truluv” and “Open House” (a selection from Oprah’s Book Club), among other books. But Berg couldn’t attend due to illness, so in Berg’s place, Robert McDonald, events coordinator for The Book Stall, stepped in.
During McDonald’s introduction to Close, he mentioned that she now lives in Washington, D.C. and teaches creative writing.
Close explained that she wanted to write about the atmosphere and community of working for a restaurant.
“Although JP Sullivan’s menu in my story is closely based on a restaurant in DC, there is a lot that I picked up from my years working, serving tables at Hackney’s on Harms restaurant” in Glenview, Close said.
The book discussion was co-sponsored by 501 Local, a neighborhood bistro located at the corner of Chestnut and Oak in Winnetka. The restaurant sponsored a raffle with prizes including free copies of “Marrying the Ketchups” and gift cards to 501 Local.
“I read Close’s early books and first met her when she came to speak to members of our local book club. I have followed her career with great interest ever since,” said Marylou Kinsella of Glenview, who attended the discussion.
“It’s a big-hearted book that comes at a perfect time when people are craving books they can enjoy, a thoughtful, safe book that explores the intricacies of family ties,” Hochschild said.
Gina Grillo is independent.