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Invite an Author

Every month, we highlight an author in an initiative called "BCCLS Invite an Author". Many of these authors are happy to visit BCCLS libraries to chat with your book clubs or present programs either in person or via Skype. You can email them directly for more information or to schedule a library visit.

Previous Authors

October 2014

Jill Smolowe

Photo © Esme.


Jill Smolowe


    smolowe @

Web Sites:


Letter of Introduction:

Dear Colleagues:

A somber topic but a great author writing about it - our Ms. October recounts her experiences with a lot of sad sad sad situations but comes out on the other end to tell us her story poignantly and with hope.

It is with great pleasure that I present Jill Smolowe as BCCLS Invite an Author for October 2014.

Jill Smolowe is the author of the memoirs Four Funerals and a Wedding: Resilience in a Time of Grief and An Empty Lap, and co-editor of the adoption anthology A Love Like No Other. An award-winning journalist, she has been a foreign affairs writer for Time and Newsweek, and a senior writer for People. Her articles and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, The Washington Post Magazine, More and many other publications. In her work as a grief and transition coach, Jill partners with clients across the United States via phone and Skype to help them identify—then take—the steps that will restore momentum, purpose and joy to their lives.

Visit Jill at: and

On Four Funerals and a Wedding: Resilience in a Time of Grief:

"In under a year and a half, Jill Smolowe lost her husband, her mother-in-law, her sister, and her mother. Here she mostly focuses on husband Joe’s diagnosis of cancer, his progress through chemotherapy and remission, and his eventual death. In the process of telling her story of love and loss, she reflects on grief—our narratives about grief, our responses to it, and how we recover. Smolowe cites the work of psychologist George Bonanno extensively, and, in sharing her story, offers thoughtful and compassionate guidance for people going through the grieving process with loved ones. Her story is heartbreaking and heartwarming, incisively written and extremely clear. Readers will find themselves sympathetic and eager to hear how Smolowe coped with her losses and how she negotiated societal expectations of grief with grace and dignity. This is an absolute must-read for people struggling with loss."

Publishers Weekly

There are lots of folks out there coping with these same issues and I hope you can see the possibilities of a library program with Ms. Smolowe. You can contact her directly at: smolowe @

Warmest regards,