When Jennifer Weiner’s face popped up on Zoom for our scheduled interview, my inner fangirl screamed. Weiner chuckled and then apologized to me for having rescheduled our appointment. Her down-to-earth honesty drove the conversation. Although Weiner is a prolific and acclaimed author with more books than I can count, a movie, and a television producer credit to her name, we were just two mothers sharing stories and chatting about her novels like college roomies, only twenty-five years later. That’s how long I’ve been her fan, at least.

My original assignment was to interview Weiner about The Summer Place (Atria, 2022), a story about a complicated family wedding on Cape Cod, just released in paperback. Fortuitously, I learned that Weiner’s new novel, The Breakawayis launching in August (Atria, 2023). I snagged a copy and was riveted, reading about Abby’s inspiring journey to finding herself through cycling. Reading both books a few days apart was a gift. I saw parallels in Weiner’s works that highlighted how her authentic novels are so much more than beach reads. In both stories, she portrayed relatable characters and explored deep feminine issues and timeless family themes.

As Profiles Editor, I interviewed Weiner over Zoom. We spoke about motherhood, body positivity, and the portrayal of women in the world. Weiner’s Jack-Rat Terrier, Levon, and my Jack Russell, Chilli Pepper, also had a brief doggie Zoom interlude. This interview has been edited for content and clarity.


Holly Rizzuto Palker


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