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Underrated Artist: Gabrielle Zevin is a literary gem

Gabrielle Zevin is a critically acclaimed author, who over the years has grown into a masterful storyteller. Through her novels and screenplays depicting the complexities of human emotions and experiences, she is guaranteed to leave a lasting impact on the world of literature. 

Zevin was born in New York City on Oct. 24, 1977. She grew up in Boca Raton, Florida, where she started writing at a very young age. Her parents met in New Britain, Connecticut, as high school students, following her mother’s immigration from Korea. Though they both worked 9-5 jobs, her parents made sure to spend time fostering her love of reading and writing. Together, Zevin and her parents would take frequent trips to the library and read together.

When she was 14, Zevin found a job at a local newspaper as a music critic. Her career began after she sent an angry letter to the editor about a review of a Guns N’ Roses concert. 

After graduating from high school, Zevin attended Harvard University. There she studied English with a concentration in American literature. In college, Zevin looked to acting to learn more about writing. She joined the cast of a campus TV show, where she met her future husband and American film director, Hans Canosa.

During what would have been their senior year, Zevin and Canosa left school to work together on a low-budget feature film. This film, “Alma Mater,” followed the life of a gay, tenured Harvard professor, who happened to be President John F. Kennedy’s college roommate. The film won ‘Best Competition Feature Film’ at the Austin Film Festival in 2002. 

After a successful production, Zevin and Canosa returned to college and graduated in 2000. The two then moved to Manhattan. 

While living in the Upper West Side, Zevin continued to work on screenplays, theater productions and short films. It was at the Tribeca Playhouse where one of her projects, “Berlin,” debuted until the events of 9/11 happened. 

Zevin published her first novel, “Margarettown” in 2005. Three months later, Zevin released a second book and her first young adult novel, “Elsewhere.” 

Also in 2005, Zevin went back to her college years and wrote a screenplay titled “Conversations with Other Woman.” Zevin’s husband directed, making this his directorial debut. This romantic drama film starred Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Eckhart as a divorced couple reuniting at a wedding.

The screenplay received praise and Zevin’s work was nominated for numerous awards, including “Best First Screenplay Award” at the Independent Spirit Awards.

Zevin published another young adult novel in 2007, titled “Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac.” This book was adapted into a screenplay by Zevin and Canosa in 2010, which became the Japanese movie, “Someone Kissed Me.” 

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry,” published in 2014, was her first novel to debut on The New York Times Best Seller List and became an international bestselling book. Zevin’s work has been translated into 38 different languages and was adapted into a movie, which was released in theaters in 2022. 

A few years later, inspired by the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Zevin wrote “Young Jane Young.” This novel, a story driven by the perspectives of five different women, retells the typical fate of a woman who finds herself in the center of a sex scandal. 

Most recently, Zevin published “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” in 2022. This book was her fifth novel for adults and can be considered her most acclaimed, winning numerous awards including the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Fiction. Over five million copies have been sold, receiving an average of 4.21 out of five stars on Goodreads from over 600,000 users. 

Currently, Zevin is writing the screenplay for a “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” film. The rights to the feature film were won by Paramount and Temple Hill in a 25-bidder auction. 

Throughout her books, Zevin writes her characters as they go through time and handle love. When she writes, Zevin hopes her readers are able to find empathy for the characters from the “slow contemplation and investment in a life that is not your own.” 

Each of Zevin’s books is a unique look at the human experience told from the perspective of characters who have difficulty fitting in with the world. She has written something for everyone, with hopefully more to come. 


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