Meet the Staff at Highbrow Magazine: Q&A With Writer Rachael Jennings

Rachael Jennings

 

Rachael Jennings is a contributing writer at Highbrow Magazine. She has mainly freelanced for local newspapers — most recently, The Addison Independent in Vermont. Her creative writing has been published in Off Course, Strange Horizons, Mason's Road, Eclectica, and elsewhere. Currently, she lives, teaches, writes, works, and finds adventures in Brooklyn, New York.
 

 

Q & A with Rachael:

 What inspired you to become a writer:

When I was very little, I was sitting in the backseat of my mother's car, and I saw the moon. I demanded that she race to catch it: "Drive faster, drive faster! We have to catch it!" I yelped, head craned and eyes moon-filled from the backseat.

I've always had a drive to attempt to catch what is “uncatchable,” and I  think that is a large part of it. That, and the wonderful, hilarious and unforgettable stories that my family tells and passes down.

 Who are a few of your favorite authors?

 My unchangeable all-time favorite writers are Joan Didion, Virginia Woolf, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss, James Joyce, Henrich Ibsen, Gustave Flaubert and Anton Chekhov. Joan Didion makes a double  appearance as my favorite journalist.

What’s the worst or most difficult job/assignment you’ve ever had?

Of my recent teaching and publishing experiences, I can think of a ton of education-related challenges, but I will go with a publishing-related task: Once, while interning, I was told to create a spreadsheet that charted every mystery and crime bookseller in the  United States, with contact information, by state. It was like solving a mystery itself! These bookstores — though small and proud — relentlessly emerge and disappear, come and go, change names and have deadlines when you stop to dial 1-800-AGA-ATHA or key in WHO-DUN-IT? It was the never-ending whodunit of spreadsheets.

 

Which is your favorite city in the U.S.?

 I love Burlington, Vermont in the fall; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the winter; New York City in the spring; and I suppose I don’t like being in cities in the summer.

 

What’s your all-time favorite film? Almost Famous.

Which newspapers/magazines/websites do you read regularly?

 Apart from Highbrow Magazine, I read The New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, and for more cultural news, I go to Flavorpill and Jezebel. I also peek back at The Addison Independent from time to time.

 

Would you rather become the next editor-in-chief of the New Yorker or
 replace Jon Stewart as host of the “Daily Show”?

 I would like to become the next Fiction editor of the New Yorker.
 

What are some of your favorite highbrow activities?

Virginia Woolf coined the phrase "highbrow" as we use it here, and, well, my kitten's name is Virginia Woolf. So, I suppose reading Virginia Woolf with Virginia Woolf is one of my favorite highbrow activities.

 

As for other activities, I enjoy reading anything inquisitive or challenging, rereading 19th-century European dramas, seeing shows when I can get tickets, thrift-wandering, making lemon poppy seed cake or kale chips when I am stressed, jogging in Prospect
Park, writing poetry, and working on my own "idea" projects — one of which lends itself to an upcoming Highbrow Magazine piece I'm writing on the history of prostitution.

 

Read a few of Rachael’s articles below:

 

The Era of E-Lit: Reading 800 Million Memoirs on Facebook

 

The Problem of Advice Columns in the Age of Twitter, Yelp and 24/7 Digital Access

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