Rights offering detail :
Reading Jane
Jan. 18, 2023
Susannah Kennedy
Digital: Non-fiction: Memoir
A memoir that reads like fiction, Reading Jane is a vivid study of narratives,
the power of parenthood and what freedom looks like when we choose to examine the uncomfortable past. Jane is to the world a charismatic personality—opinionated, an inner-city teacher and public activist, a lover of Italy, proud and successful—who thrives on a carefully crafted life narrative. Susannah is her beautiful only daughter, her intended protégé, who senses the stricter, darker truth, and fights to resist the control imposed on her by her mother’s seductive tale.

All through Susannah’s childhood, Jane settled once per day to chronicle her life. It was her private place, her ceremonial room alone. In those years of magnetic twosomeness, “Mommy, can I read your diaries?” became a frequent question. Jane started off saying “Some day” and then she changed to “When you are the age I was when I wrote them,” then, later, it was “Maybe,” then “No, probably never.” The diaries receded. Susannah grew up. But then Jane at 75, healthy and fit, chose suicide.

Daring to “read” Jane – 45 years of her mother’s hidden diaries—after her death is like unlatching Pandora’s Box. For a year, Susannah reads, twisting and turning to the truths she uncovers, comparing what she remembers with what her mother put down in words. Through revelations about her father and the years in India and New York, about the fight not to be too tall, about the flash of cigarettes, about modeling and teenage first loves and her
mother’s secret lovers, and their disagreement about answering a baby’s cry, Susannah reads and fills out the details of her own life against the strange pull of her mother’s public tale. This process, accompanied by strange physical symptoms, shows her how memories are experienced in the body and can be understood and calmed and worked through, and ultimately becomes her salvation. Re-living her life through her mother’s eyes teaches her how truth wins out over “forgetting,” and breaks the powerful generational spell.
Rights available:
Translation, Audio, Film/TV
Other Information:
Release Date September 2023. Manuscript Available
Anna Termine
Sibylline Press
phone: 8602279777
Offering #:
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