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Jill Eisenstadt Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

From Rockaway (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Kiss Out (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Swell (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Jill Eisenstadt is a renowned novelist from America, who is famous for writing literature & fiction, and young adult novels. She is particularly well known for writing the her debut book called From Rockaway. Besides this, author Jill has written a few other standalone books in her career. In addition to being an author, Jill also works as a teacher, freelance journalist, and screenwriter. Author Jill was born on June 15, 1963, in Queens, New York, US. She completed her graduation from the Bennington College in 1985. At her college, there was a Literary Brat Pack, which included members like Jay McInerney, Tama Janowitz, and Bret Easton Ellis. Author Jill was also considered a part of this group. Similar to all her contemporaries at the Bennington College, she too liked to write in the sparse, minimalist style, that was influenced by writers such as Joan Didion and Raymond Carver. Author Jill’s first novel, Jill, was published in 1987 by the Knopf publication. She submitted the story of this book as a thesis of her MFA when she was studying at the Columbia University. The story is a coming of age tale related to the lives of 4 teenagers from the Rockaway Beach, located in Queens. The main protagonist of the story is Alex, who escapes from the working class millieux by obtaining a scholarship to Camden College. This is a fictional college described by Jill in the story and serves as a stand in for Bennington. Alex has 3 friends, all of whom work for ordinary jobs. The friends of Alex like to live in the present without caring much about their future. They spend their summers by working as lifeguards, while the winters by doing some odd jobs. All the four friends finally reunite during a beach party and enter into an agreement with each other’s diverging life. Jill’s exciting debut novel was translated into 6 foreign languages. Movie director Sydney has optioned the book for a film adaptation.

Author Jill followed her successful first book with another Knopf novel called Kiss Out, which was published in 1991. The third book of Jill’s career is titled Swell and it came out in 2017. Author Jill has stated that Swell does not serve as a sequel to From Rockaway, however, most of its plot is set on the Rockaway beach and consists of a few characters from the debut novel. Apart from the full length novels, author Jill has also contributed some short stories, articles, book reviews, essays, and interviews. She has provided these materials to some of popular publications like Mademoiselle, New York magazine, Vogue, Elle, The NYT, The Boston Review, BOMB, Glamour, and BKYLN. For the latter, Jill has even worked as an editor. The shorter versions of Jill’s works also appear in several anthologies such as Altared, Queens Noir, The Best Sex Writing of 2008, etc. Author Jill has collaborated on a few occasions with her own sister named Debra for writing the screenplays of the independent movies like The Limbo Room and Daydream Believer. Jill has written extensively about a frightening experience that she went through when she was in the danger of losing her house in 1989 because of an explosion in one of the steam pipes. Due to the explosion, many of her possessions and manuscripts got contaminated with asbestos. Luckily, she was able to recover most of the items and her house was also saved by quick action from the firefighting department. As of today, author Jill resides in Brooklyn along with her family.

An initial book written by Jill Eisenstadt is entitled ‘From Rockaway’. It was released by the Vintage publication in 1988, after its original release in 1987. The plot of this book is shown taking place in Rockaway, Queens, NY, US. The primary characters described by Jill include Peg, Chowderhead, Timmy, and Alex. At the start of the book, Jill has depicted the heartfelt and savvy beach community of Rockaway, where the working class kids spend their summer days. Cigarettes and beer cans are a common sight to see instead of seashells on the beach. The 4 main characters are shown as close friends, who drink together and share their dreams with each other. The happy circle of friends gets broken when Alex gets a chance to study in the school of rich kids in New England, with the help of a scholarship. But, things do not turn out as Alex had hoped. She goes through a tough time at the school because of weird games played by the students at the school. One summer, she returns to Rockaway and reunites with her old gang. At this time, Alex realizes the explosive depth of the feelings that teenagers with no other option than local deli have. Finally, the lifeguard stands help Alex understand what it really means to reach the adulthood phase of life. Unlike Alex, her 3 friends, Peg, Timmy, and Chowderhead, spend their days sitting in tall chairs as lifeguards. They smoke dope and stare at the swating insects, waves, and the tormenting seagulls. When the season changes, they change jobs and take up work like unloading the trucks at local shops. During the nights, all 3 of them indulge in heavy drinking and getting rowdy. Their lives go on like this until Alex returns back. The reunion of the friends causes tensions to erupt between them. But, things settle soon between the friends. Author Jill has done a fantastic job in capturing the casual nihilism and restlessness of the working class youths, who are out of options.

Another popular novel penned by author Jill is called ‘Swell’. This book was released in 2017 by the Lee Boudreaux publication. In this book, Jill has told the story of the small family comprising of the characters named Sue Glassman, Sy, and Dan. At the beginning of the book, it is shown that Sue’s family requires a new house. Her father-in-law, Sy, has promised long back that he will buy one for them, but on the condition that she would accept the religion of Judaism. After resisting for many years, Sue finally gives in. In return, Sy buys a big beachfront home in Rockaway. There is a catch that Sy has also decided to move in with them. Sue faces another huge problem when she realizes that the house being haunted. During the conversion party of Sue, 90 year old Rose arrivse without invitation. Many years ago, she had gotten away with a killing on the same premises. Rose seems to have escaped from a facility of assisted living and now wants to move into her old house. The situation becomes extremely tense for the Glassmans as their problems do not seem to subside. Timmy, who lives in the neighborhood, shows sympathy for the Glassmans and tries to find solutions to their problems.

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