Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jen Lancaster  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult; Young Adult;

Born: 1967 in New York

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Illinois Connection

Lancaster has lived in Chicago and now resides in the suburb of Lake Forest.

Biographical and Professional Information

Jen Lancaster grew up in Indiana and is an alumna of Purdue University. She was an associate vice president for a technology company prior to being laid off after September 11, 2001. Soon after, Lancaster launched a website detailing her descent from designer clothing and spa visits to the unemployment line on her blog Her book, ''The Tao of Martha'', has been optioned for a sitcom by FOX.

Selected Titles At Your Library

Bitter is the new black :
ISBN: 0451217608. OCLC Number:

New American Library,. New York :. ©2006.

A memoir chronicles the adventures and misadventures of a woman whose perfect life and perfect job vanishes when she goes from a six-figure career to unemployment, and, forced to do some soul searching, becomes an author.

Bright lights, big ass :
ISBN: 0451221257. OCLC Number:

New American Library,. New York, N.Y. :. ©2007.

Jen Lancaster shares her humorous views of life in the city, recounting some of her most memorable experiences living in Chicago and explaining why city life is nothing like what it is portrayed as on television.

Such a pretty fat :
ISBN: 0451223896. OCLC Number:

New American Library,. New York :. 2008.

Unfortunately, being overweight isn't simply a societal issue that can be fixed with a dose healthy of positive self-esteem. It's a health matter, and on the eve of her fortieth year, Lancaster learns to make changes. Because what good is finally being able to afford a pedicure if you lose a foot to adult onset diabetes?

Pretty in plaid :
ISBN: 0451226801. OCLC Number:

New American Library,. New York :. ©2009.

In this hilarious and touching memoir, Lancaster looks back on her life-- and wardrobe-- before bitter was the new black. She unveils a young woman not so very different from the rest of us.

If you were here /
ISBN: 0451236688. OCLC Number:

New American Library,. New York :. 2012.

"If You Were Here follows Amish-zombie-teen- romance author Mia and her husband Mac (and their pets) through the alternately frustrating, exciting, terrifying-but always funny-process of buying and renovating their first home in the Chicago suburbs that John Hughes's movies made famous. Along their harrowing renovation journey, Mia and Mac get caught up in various wars with the homeowners' association, meet some less-than-friendly neighbors, and are joined by a hilarious cast of supporting characters, including a celebutard ex- landlady. As they struggle to adapt to their new surroundings- with Mac taking on the renovations himself- Mia and Mac will discover if their marriage is strong enough to survive months of DIY renovations"

My fair lazy :
ISBN: 0451231864. OCLC Number:

New American Library,. New York :. ©2010.

Chronicles the author's efforts to achieve cultural enlightenment by reading canonical literature, viewing classic films, attending the opera, and researching artisan cheeses.

Jeneration X :
ISBN: 0451233174. OCLC Number:

New American Library,. New York :. ©2012.

The author attempts to act her age by trying her hand at investment-making, getting a mortgage, and obtaining life insurance, and describes the humorous results.

Here I go again /
ISBN: 0451236726. OCLC Number:

New American Library,. New York :. 2013.

Twenty years after ruling the halls of her suburban Chicago high school, Lissy Ryder doesn't understand why her glory days ended. Back then, she was worshipped-- beloved-- feared. Present day, not so much. She's been pink-slipped from her high-paying job, dumped by her husband and kicked out of her condo. Now, at thirty-seven, she's struggling to start a business out of her parents' garage and sleeping under the hair-band posters in her old bedroom. Lissy finally realizes karma is the only bitch bigger than she was. Her present is miserable because of her past. But it's not like she can go back in time and change who she was-- or can she?

The tao of Martha :
ISBN: 0451417631. OCLC Number:

. .

Recounts the author's search for domestic bliss as she embraces the word of Martha Stewart and attempts to follow her in all things, from closet organization to stain removal, with laughably disastrous results.

Twisted sisters /
ISBN: 0451471687. OCLC Number:

. .

"Reagan Bishop is a pusher. A licensed psychologist who stars on the Wendy Winsberg cable breakout show, I Need a Push, Reagan helps participants become their best selves by urging them to overcome obstacles and change behaviors. An overachiever, Reagan is used to delivering results. Despite her overwhelming professional success, Reagan never seems to earn her family's respect. Her younger sister, Geri, is and always will be the Bishop family favorite. When a national network buys Reagan's show, the pressures for unreasonably quick results and higher ratings mount. But Reagan's a clinician, not a magician, and she fears witnessing her own personal failings in prime time. (And seriously? Her family will never let her hear the end of it.) Desperate to make the show work and keep her family at bay, Reagan actually listens when the show's New Age healer offers an unconventional solution ... Record Nielsen ratings follow. But when Reagan decides to use her newfound power to teach everyone a lesson about sibling rivalry, she's the one who will be schooled ..."--

The best of enemies /
ISBN: 0451471091. OCLC Number:

. .

"Bridesmaids meets The In-Laws in a novel told from the alternating perspectives of two women who define the term frenemies. From New York Times bestselling author Jen Lancaster. Jacqueline Jordan knows conflict. A fearless journalist, she's spent the past decade embedded in the world's hot spots, writing about the fall of nations and the rise of despots. But if you were to inquire about who topped Jack's enemy list, she'd not hesitate to answer: Kitty Carricoe. Kitty reigns supreme over the world of carpools and minivans. A SAHM, she spends her days caring for her dentist husband and three towheaded children, running the PTA, and hiding vegetables in deceptively delicious packed lunches. Kitty and Jack haven't a single thing in common except for Sarabeth Chandler, their mutual bestie. Sarabeth and Jack can be tomboys with the best of them, while Sarabeth can get her girly-girl on with Kitty. In fact, the three of them were college friends until the notorious frat party incident, when Jack accidentally hooked up with Kitty's boyfriend. Yet both women drop everything and rush to Sarabeth's side when they get the call that her fabulously wealthy husband has perished in a suspicious boating accident. To solve the mystery surrounding his death, Jack and Kitty must bury the hatchet and hit the road for a trip that just may bring them together if it doesn't kill them first"--

I regret nothing :
ISBN: 0451471075. OCLC Number:

. .

Describes the author's haphazard attempts to make and fulfill a bucket list involving humiliating experiments with tattoo removal, eating pasta in Rome, and navigating a menagerie of rescued pets.

By the numbers /
ISBN: 0451471113. OCLC Number:

. .

"The New York Times bestselling author of The Best of Enemies serves up a hilarious new novel of the "sandwich generation." Actuary Penny Sinclair has a head for business, and she always makes rational decisions. Knowing that 60% of spouses cheat and 50% of marriages end in divorce, she wasn't too surprised when her husband had an affair. (That he did so with a woman their daughter's age? Well, that part did sting a bit.) She just made sure she got everything in the divorce, including their lovely old Victorian house. And as soon as her middle daughter has her hipster-fabulous wedding in the backyard, she's trading it in for a condo in downtown Chicago ... Well within the average market time in her area, Penny gets an offer on the house. But then life happens. Her children, her parents and her ex come flying back to the nest, all in need of Penny's emotional--and financial--support. Spread thin, Penny becomes the poster child for the "sandwich generation," when all she really wanted to do was make managing director, buy a white couch, and maybe go on a date.."--

Stories I'd tell in bars /
ISBN: 1521894418. OCLC Number:

. .

Unfiltered, Unsupervised. Unapologetic. Older -- arguably not wiser -- Lancaster gets back to basics in this hilarious essay collection, sharing the stories she'd tell in bars, if she weren't too lazy to put on pants and go to bars. From advice on how to stay married to a man who refuses to blow his damn nose to creating an incident at the cheese counter during a stab at Whole30, she's just like you ... only louder.

The gatekeepers /
ISBN: 0373212615. OCLC Number:

. .

Anyone passing through North Shore, Illinois, would think it was the most picture-perfect place ever, with all the lakefront mansions and manicured hedges and iron gates. No one talks about the fact that the brilliant, talented kids in town have a terrible history of throwing themselves in front of commuter trains.


Here I Go Again

  • Bestseller, New York Times
  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
  • Starred Review, Kirkus
  • Starred Review, Booklist
  • I Regret Nothing

  • Best Book of the Year, Amazon
  • By The Numbers

  • ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2017

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)


  • Andrea, Empire Literary


  • Tiffany, CAA
  • Olivia, CAA


  • Jayme, PRH Speakers Bureau


  • Siena, Harlequin TEEN
  • Megan, MB Communications