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Jenny Slate Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On: Things About Me (With: Dean Fleischer-Camp) (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Marcel the Shell: the Most Surprised I've Ever Been (With: Dean Fleischer-Camp) (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
About the House (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Little Weirds (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Jenny Sarah Slate is an American comedian, actress, and author. Slate was born in Milton, Massachusetts in 1982 to poet and businessman Ron Slate who worked for the EMC Corporation where he was vice president in charge of global communications. He went on to become the CEO of a biotech startup. Her mother Nancy Gilson worked as a ceramicist. Slate is the second born of three children and has a younger sister named Stacey and an older named Abigail. She has one of the most diverse backgrounds having been born to a Jewish family with one of her grandparents the daughter of Russian and Turkish immigrants to Cuba. Jenny went to Milton Academy and had the distinction of being valedictorian of her graduating class. After graduating from high school she proceeded to Columbia University where she studied literature and was one of the founders of “Fruit Paunch” an improv group. In college she starred in a variety of shows and met her comedy partner Gabe Liedman who she worked with for many years. She graduated from Columbia in 2004 and went on to pursue a career in Hollywood mostly doing standup comedy.

She starred on “Parks and Recreation” as Mona-Lisa Saperstein and then created the “Marcel Shell with Shoes”, a comedic short film series that would, later on, be made into a children’s book series. She was regular member of the 2009-10 Saturday Night Live season and also appeared on a variety of feature films such as “The Secret Life of Pets,” “Zootopia,” and “Obvious Child.” She has also been on shows such as “Big Mouth,” “Star vs. the Forces of Evil,” “Married,” “House of Lies,” “Kroll Show,” “Bob’s Burgers,” and “Bored to Death.” Outrage greeted the announcement that Saturday Night Live would not be renewing Slate’s contract. It was less than a month since her adorable collaboration with Dean Fleischer-Camp had produced “Marcel The Shell With Shoes On” that went viral with millions of views. Nobody could understand why NBC would not be renewing her contract.

With her contract up, she decided to make something of her viral production by converting the animated video series into a novel. Marcel the Shell which has been viewed more than 2.4 million times on YouTube and Vimeo has been made into a children’s book series featuring Marcel the Shell as the lead character. She is also in talks to bring the infectious Marcel character to TV. The first novel of the series featuring Marcel was “Marcel the Shell: The Most Surprised I’ve Ever Been” that was first published in 2014. The multi-talented Jenny Slate then went on to collaborate with her father to write the novel/memoir “About the House.” Ron brings in his poetry to the novel and writes evocative and excellent essays about life and family. Jenny explains her child self, including her motivations and the mind of her child self and how it has influenced the type of woman that she has become as an adult. The novel is set in old colonial house in Boston and serves as some kind of biography for the Slate family. Slate is also the author of a collection of personal pieces and nonfiction called “Little Weirds” that has been formally published by Hachette Books and informally published in the New Yorker.

“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On: Things About Me” the first novel by Jenny Slate is an adorable digital story that will have you giggling. Marcel the lead is a tiny shell with mini shoes and one googly eye. The story follows her as she talks and moves around her house. Marcel interacts with real household items and talks as she moves around though she does not have a real mouth. She moves around showing the house and informs the reader of her day including what she has done and facts about her life. From hang gliding on a Dorito to wearing a hat that is made from lentils, Marcel finds magic in everyday life. He may be a tiny shell but he has a lot going for him. Even though she may not have the strength to lift anything, he can depend on his family to help him. Nonetheless, he has a pretty good imagination and can do a lot of things by himself. There is not much of a structure to Marcel’s ruminations but it is a short and cute story of facts about Marcel that connects with children.

“Marcel the Shell: The Most Surprised I’ve Ever Been” is Jenny Slate’s second work that continues Marcel’s story. Marcel tells an intriguing story of how he was launched from a blanket to the other side of the room, where he got to have a whole new perspective of his world in a very exciting experience. As a very tiny shell, he had spent much of his time in one corner of the room and hence his experience and perspective had always been limited. In the end the little shell falls and ends up on top of a cake. Slate uses a lot of humor when explaining the perspective that someone as small as the lead would have in a huge room. It would be a great read both for children and adults as it explains the life of a shell that lives on top of a slice of bread before ending up on a cake. There are some aspects that may be more suited to the parent reading the book to the child such as dust bunny acting like a dog or a baby as a monster in jail.

“About the House” is a series of hysterical and heartbreaking essays about the Slate home and family in Boston. The house first built by Georgia O’Keeffe slowly reveals its ghosts, heartaches, hopes, and secrets. It has aspirational vignettes and wonderful chapters that combine to make for a book whose excellence is stratospheric. It provides a holistic view of the evolution and mutation of one generation into the next including the breaking and restoration of childhood dreams. The novel is a perfect illustration of how even the most singular and clearest events can have multiple interpretations. Through divorces, deaths, marriages, and renovations it portrays the pulsating heart that is the Slate household. The functional family has both earnestness, honesty and wildness that is just what everyone wishes their family to have been or to be. It is a great book with its particular brand of weirdness though it does make one feel less alone with its funny and cogent themes.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jenny Slate

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