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Jan Slepian

About Jan Slepian

An Interview with Jan Slepian

More About Jan Slepian

Jan Slepian grew up in three of New York City's five boroughs; Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn. She attended Brooklyn College, where she received a degree in psychology and went on to do graduate work in clinical psychology and speech pathology at the University of Washington in Seattle. When she moved back to the east coast, Jan worked for a time as a speech therapist in the language clinic of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. A few months later, Slepian met her mathematician husband, David. They were married in Paris, and "spent five idyllic months there and thereabouts. When we returned from Europe, we settled in New Jersey." she recalls.

Jan Slepian began her writing career when she and a colleague, Dr. Ann Seidler, wrote a series of articles devoted to common speech problems. "We wrote about ten of these and sent them off to a syndicated newspaper column called 'Parents Ask.' To our delighted surprise, they were accepted and published.: Thereafter, Slepian and Seidler, collaborated on a a series of picture books called The Listen-Hear Books, all dealing with some aspect of speech. The Hungry Thing from this series, and its sequels, The Hungry Thing Returns and The Hungry Thing Goes to a Restaurant remain popular favorites.

In the late seventies, when the Slepian family was on its way to its alternate home in Hawaii, the Slepians spent a few months in Berkeley, California. There, Jan took a class in children's literature which introduced her to the adolescent novel. It was at this point that Slepian decided to call upon her life's experiences and write fiction for young people. The most prominent force behind this decision was her brother, Alfred. "I had no intention in the world of writing about what it was like growing up with a handicapped brother. I only wanted to tell as true a made-up story as I could about what he was like in his hey-day, when he was young." The Alfred Summer went on to earn critical recognition such as being nominated for American Book Award, as well as becoming and Honor Book for the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award.

Jan Slepian and her husband now live full-time in New Jersey. They have three grown children and are grandparents. "I swim, travel, hunt mushrooms, read, play with my friends and spend my worst and best times at my computer writing books," Slepian says. copyright ? 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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