Jean Hanff Korelitz

Portrait Jean Hanff Korelitz
Jean Hanff Korelitz [© Michael Avedon]

Jean Hanff Korelitz was born in New York City in 1961. She studied at Dartmouth College and Clare College, Cambridge.

She made her debut in 1996 with the legal thriller »A Jury of Her Peers«. In it, a New York lawyer defends a homeless man suspected of murdering a schoolgirl. But it turns out that there is a large-scale political conspiracy behind the case. Jean Hanff Korelitz has since published seven more novels, most of which have been adapted for film and television and whose heroines often struggle with moral dilemmas. »Admission« [2009], which was filmed in 2013 with Tina Fey in the leading role, tells the story of a Princeton University employee who is caught up in a secret from her past: She thinks she recognizes her son, whom she had given up for adoption, in a young man seeking admission to university. »You Should Have Known« [2014] follows a couples’ therapist and advice columnist whose seemingly perfect life is plunged into an abyss. A murder takes place, her husband disappears, and more and more lies come to light. The novel was filmed under the title »The Undoing«, directed by Susanne Bier and starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, and Donald Sutherland. »The Plot« [2021] is also slated to be turned into a film: A formerly successful author, now a creative writing lecturer at a rural college, profits in a very special way from the death of a former student. He passes off the student’s novel idea as his own and it becomes a bestseller. But someone is on to him – a thrilling and at the same time humorously told cat-and-mouse game ensues. The »Washington Post« describes the book as »a witty nightmare of a thriller about the dangerous consequences of sticky fingers in the literary world«. Jean Hanff Korelitz told the »Guardian« that she wrote the book within four months at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Her most recent work is the novel »The Latecomer« [2022], in which the triplets Harrison, Lewyn, and Sally have to face the fact that they are getting another sibling shortly before they start college. They are, in fact, quadruplets – because the same artificial insemination that created them had an additional embryo that is now born as a baby.

Jean Hanff Korelitz is the founder of BookTheWriter, an organization that arranges encounters between readers and writers. She is married to the Irish poet Paul Muldoon, with whom she has two adult children. The author lives in New York City.

Date: 2022