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Jane Hamilton Papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

The Book of Ruth

A Map of the World

The Short History of a Prince


Essays, Reviews, and Talks

When Madeline Was Young

Laura Rider's Masterpiece

The Excellent Lombards



Jane Hamilton's Indexes and Guides to Papers

Jane Hamilton Papers, 1983-2000 | Carleton College Archives

By Jane Hamilton & Tom Lamb

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Collection Overview

Title: Jane Hamilton Papers, 1983-2000

ID: 03/245

Primary Creator: Hamilton, Jane (Class of 1979) (1957 July 13 -)

Extent: 6.0 Cubic Feet

Arrangement: Arranged by the author by novel in loose chronological.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Papers of author and Carleton College graduate Jane Hamilton, class of 1979. This collection contains materials created during the writing, editing, publication, and promotion of Hamilton's novels and other writings. Included are drafts, editor's notes, and research, as well as screenplays for movies based on The Book of Ruth and Map of the World. Correspondence with Oprah Winfrey and other materials related to The Book of Ruth's and Map of the World's selection for the Oprah Book Club, and Hamilton's appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show, are also included.

Biographical Note

Biographical note contributed by Jane Hamilton - Jane Hamilton was born in Oak Park, Illinois in 1957. Both her grandmother and her mother were journalists and fiction writers, and she assumed that if you were a girl you were supposed to become a writer. She graduated from Carleton in 1979 with that aim in mind, although she’d been told by various professors that writing fiction was not usually a viable profession. This was sound advice. She married an apple farmer, Robert Willard, in Rochester, Wisconsin in 1982. Between harvest and planting she wrote her first novel, The Book of Ruth, published in 1988. She has written six novels since, several short stories, and many essays.

Her daughter Hannah graduated from Carleton in 2010. Her son attended Lawrence University, where he had an English class from a Carleton grad who’d studied with the great professors of the 1980s, Carleton doing its work in Wisconsin.

Hamilton’s work has won prizes and two of the novels, The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World, have been made into films. She has taught at Carleton College, in the Warren Wilson MFA program, at Luther College, as well as conducting many workshops nationally and internationally. Although there was not a writing program at Carleton when she matriculated, the two workshops she took, and the professors she studied with, were instrumental in teaching her the craft of writing.

Administrative Information

Repository: Carleton College Archives

Access Restrictions: See Deed of Gift dated 2018-06-14

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: The Book of Ruth],
[Series 2: A Map of the World],
[Series 3: The Short History of a Prince],
[Series 4: Disobedience],
[Series 5: Essays, Reviews, and Talks],
[Series 6: When Madeline Was Young],
[Series 7: Laura Rider's Masterpiece],
[Series 8: The Excellent Lombards],
[Series 9: Various],
[Series 10: Unpublished],
[Series z: Jane Hamilton's Indexes and Guides to Papers],

Series 5: Essays, Reviews, and Talks
Container ID: Box 8
Folder 1: Aren't We A Pair
From Hamilton: Essay written for photogrpher Melissa Pinney's book of photos/essays called TWO
Folder 2: The Reading Circuit
From Hamilton: Unpublished essay, draft, about The Reading Circuit
Folder 3: Washington Post, 2006
From Hamilton: Review of Julia Glass novel which I pulled when I found I could not write positively about the book.
Folder 4: Hair, 2006
From Hamilton: Essay about Hair for Allure
Folder 5: Technology, 2006
From Hamilton: Essay about Technology for Speakeasy
Folder 6: Kirstin Valdes Quade, 2018
From Hamilton: Essay written about Kristin Valdez Quade's short story Jubilee for Jackson Bryer collection, Why I Like This Story
Folder 7: Review of After This, 2006
For Washington Post
Folder 8: Aerobics
Folder 9: National Kidney Foundation talk, 2003
San Francisco
Folder 10: American Library Association talk
Folder 11: Piano Recital
From Hamilton: Unpublished, given as a talk many times
Folder 12: Rejected Essay, 1987
Folder 13: Introduction to Allegra Goodman's Family Markowitz, 2012
Folder 14: Cardinal Stritch Commencement Speech, 2001
Folder 15: PBS Frontline's The Farmer's Wife, 1998
From Hamilton: Essay assigned by PBS to comment on Frontline's The Farmer's Wife. PBS was not happy with the piece. I found the portrait of the husband and wife unflattering, and the farmer's life untenable.
Folder 16: Essay
From Hamilton: Essay for Allure? Not sure. I THINK it was published.
Folder 17: The Summer Reading Was Banned, 2015
From Hamilton: Essay for Ann Hood, including finished anthology
Folder 18: On the Road to Material, 2016
In The Lonely Planet Travel Anthology
Folder 19: Rurburbia, 2007
In Wisconsin People & Ideas
Folder 20: Introduction to The Short History of a Prince, 1998
For Franklin Library Edition of The Short History of A Prince
Folder 21: Middles, 2017
In the anthology, Aging
Folder 22: The Zuki, 2009
From Hamilton: Essay on The Zuki coat for Elle, including email from Nora Ephron
Folder 23: NPR Three Books, 2009
Folder 24: Louisa May Alcott, 1997
For Salon magazine
Folder 25: Mud Dog Grows Up, 1988
From Hamilton: Unpublished essay Mother/Daughter, rejection by New York Times
Folder 26: Modern Love, 2009
Folder 27: How Reading Changed My Life
From Hamilton: Essay about reading for Deb Futter. Don;t know where it was used. Something I think for publicity.
Folder 28: When Love Gets in the Way
From Hamilton: Essay about College admission for Jennifer Delahunty anthology
Folder 29: The Mother of Your Dreams, 2002
In Parenting Magazine
Folder 30: My Teacher Crush, 2008
In Hallmark magazine
Folder 31: Music Camp, 2009
From Hamilton: Essay for Oprah Magazine - which features my Carleton classmates
Folder 32: Peril, 1988
In the New York Times
Folder 33: Spending the Sparkle, 2019
For the essay collectin Apple, Tree
Folder 34: The Rainbow Bus to Camp, 1991
In The Milwaukee Journal
Folder 35: In the Matter of Cats and Chickens, 2010
In CLUCK: From Jungle Fowl to City Chicks
Folder 36: Two Short Essays, 2008-2009
From Hamilton: Two very short miscellaneous essyas, one about favorite books. One about Michelle and Barack.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: The Book of Ruth],
[Series 2: A Map of the World],
[Series 3: The Short History of a Prince],
[Series 4: Disobedience],
[Series 5: Essays, Reviews, and Talks],
[Series 6: When Madeline Was Young],
[Series 7: Laura Rider's Masterpiece],
[Series 8: The Excellent Lombards],
[Series 9: Various],
[Series 10: Unpublished],
[Series z: Jane Hamilton's Indexes and Guides to Papers],

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