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'Finding Marriage, Losing Self' | Modern Love 69

Posted June 07, 2017, By Amory Sivertson
@wbur, @nytimes and #modernlovepodcast


The SOME GIRLS Trailer

Good Morning America


PRETTY Trailer

Color My Skin
Interview with Jillian Lauren
posted April 13, 2017


Praise for Everything You Ever Wanted

Everything You Ever Wanted is wonderful... broad reaching and introspective

—The NY Times

While she skewers the celebrity-driven and consumerist Southern California culture she indulges in, Lauren also writes darkly and beautifully... Lauren cracked me — cracked me up and cracked me open... Part of the many joys and sorrows of reading “Everything You Ever Wanted” is this generous and funny and intelligent writer knows that, despite the many hardships, it is in fact she who is the lucky one.

—LA Times

In her beautiful, heart-wrenching, brilliant, and profoundly human second memoir, we meet Lauren a decade later in a strikingly different milieu. She’s stepping over lines in stages again, but now moving toward things she’s always dreamed of: becoming a good wife, a good mother, a tattooed, pierced, upstanding member of the PTA.

—Boston Globe

If there is a message in this wry and honest parenting memoir, it’s to toss unrealistic hopes, to stop parenting with such intention, or, as Lauren puts it: “Sometimes, you have to be content.”

—Washington Post

Lauren again demonstrates her keen ability to transform unusual experiences into brave writerly fodder.

—Publisher’s Weekly

Everything You Ever Wanted is a transformative, unflinching account of the creation of an adoptive family. Jillian and Scott and their son Tariku show us, painful, frustrating and joyful step by step how to attach, heal, listen, trust and then let go. A testament to the fierce and fallible journey of any mother. Reads like a novel, moves you like any great story of survival would, to tears of joy and triumph.

—Jamie Lee Curtis

Everything You Ever Wanted is an irreverent, deeply honest love letter from a fascinating mother to an exceptional, inspiring child.

—Ayelet Waldman, Nationally bestselling author of
Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities and Occasional Moments of Grace

As a foster child, I related so deeply to this story. Jillian Lauren is giving her son the greatest gift any child can have: to be wanted and loved unconditionally. This is a book about belonging. It's a book about parenting as a spiritual practice -- of learning how to love another human being right where they are, right where you are. A really beautiful story of family.

—Tracy McMillan, bestselling author of Why You're Not Married...Yet

In this ferociously brave, funny, and heartwarming memoir, Jillian Lauren parses the challenges and rewards of motherhood with true grace and humility. No other parenting book has ever made me feel so validated about the big, messy, beautiful picture of what it means to care for another human being. I closed the cover in awe of both the author, and of parenthood itself.

— Claire Bidwell Smith, author of The Rules of Inheritance and After This

Jillian Lauren’s writing will take your breath away. Writing with heartbreaking clarity, she deftly unrfurls a story of becoming an adoptive mother and coming terms with her own childhood with a wining candor and grace.

— Annabelle Gurwitch, NY Times bestselling author of I See You Made an Effort

Lauren’s writing is brave and honest, and she calls out hypocrisy wherever she sees it…

—Kirkus Reviews

With astonishing candor and grace, Jillian chronicles how her first difficult years as a mother allowed her to shine a more empathetic and compassionate light on her relationship her own estranged father. She is the most relatable of narrators, even though as the former lover of a prince, now married to a real life rock star, she has lived a life about which most women only fantasize. In Everything you Ever Wanted, Jillian Lauren proves once again that she is above all else a master storyteller.

— Catherine Burns, Artistic Director, The Moth

Candid, hilarious, searing, and poetic, Jillian Lauren is Everything You Ever Wanted in a memoirist.

—Sandra Tsing Loh, author of The Madwoman in the Volvo

With humor and poignancy, Jillian interweaves her struggle to become a mother with her own story of being adopted as an infant. It's a love story - between Jillian and her rockstar husband, and also between a couple and their new son. Like all great love stories, the beauty is in the struggle.

— Kristen Howerton, founder of Rage Against the Minivan

Praise for Pretty

Pretty is the not-so-pretty, utterly riveting, non-stop frantic and compulsively readable saga of Bebe Baker, a heroine who knows her way around a serious binge. The prose, at times, drives with such ferocious urgency that the words seem not so much written as willed onto the page. Pretty stands out as a triumph of survival testimony.

—Jerry Stahl

Pretty is the real deal, a harrowing journey from darkness to light to real life. Bebe's unflinching, street-level search for salvation absolutely floored me, and Jillian Lauren's writing shimmers throughout with wit and authenticity.

—Antoine Wilson, author of The Interloper

Jillian Lauren writes with stunning, furious authenticity about self-destruction and the bitter road toward redemption. Pretty will knock the breath right out of you.

—Janelle Brown, author of This is Where We Live

“Bebe’s in-your-face voice is one of the novel’s strengths… At times Bebe is maddening, but in Ms. Lauren’s skilled hands, she never stops being heart-wrenchingly sympathetic.”

NY Journal of Books

Lauren's novel is well-crafted, quick, and absorbing...

Publisher's Weekly

Jillian Lauren’s writing has a velvety, visceral edge that compliments her beautifully descriptive prose that is guttural in its realism, yet soothing in its familiarity. Lauren is a truly gifted writer with the voice of a street-wise angel.

Pretty is tragically-heartbreaking, determinedly-inspiring and masterfully-written. As it was with her first book and memoir: Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, Lauren’s fictional debut proves, yet again, that she has what it takes to leave an indelible mark.

—Renee C. Fountain, Book Fetish

...this hard-edged coming-of-age tale will find an audience on both sides of the adult-YA divide.

— Michael Cart

Praise for Some Girls

Some Girls is a heart-stoppingly thrilling story told by a punk rock Scheherazade. Lauren writes with such lyrical ease - the book is almost musical, an enduring melody of what it is to be a woman.

—Margaret Cho

Some Girls would have been riveting even if Jillian Lauren had merely illuminated the murky world of high-class prostitution for the general reader. The fact that she does so with humor, candor, and a reporter's gimlet eye is an added delight. But Some Girls also undertakes the deepest challenge: it reveals how and why a middle-class kid like Lauren found herself in such a line of work--and how she got out.

—Jennifer Egan

Lauren... is a deft storyteller, imparting equal parts poignant reflection and wisdom into her enlightening book. A gritty, melancholy memoir leavened by the author's amiable, engrossing narrative tenor.

—Kirkus Reviews

[Jillian Lauren is] a gifted writer. Compelling.

—Library Journal

Wow, what a story! Jillian Lauren’s Some Girls is the most exotic sex worker memoir I’ve ever read. Imagine being paid to play with the richest men in the world? Few women dare to speak of their youthful sexual adventures with such honesty and clarity. I can’t wait for the movie

—Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D

Catfights, mad cash, priceless jewels -- what’s a young girl from Jersey to do? Welcome to the sultan’s harem, a secret world filled with artful seduction and parties that never end. What starts out juicy quickly turns soulful in this elegantly crafted, multi-layered stunner of a memoir. Lauren strikes the perfect balance between light and shadow in her spellbinding tale of one woman’s exotic search for identity and true love.

—Rachel Resnick, author of Love Junkie

Lauren is a gifted and lyrical writer whose coming-of-age tale has the reader firmly under its spell by the end of the first paragraph. Her emotional insight is deeply penetrating, allowing us to feel kinship with her even as we marvel at her rarefied adventures. Lauren generously brings us along for an amazing ride as she seeks, and then finds, meaning and connection in her life. I couldn't put it down.

—Nina Hartley, author of Nina Hartley's Guide to Total Sex

Jillian Lauren's Some Girls takes readers into a world so dramatic, it seems almost too far out to be true. But the bracing realism that infuses her storytelling lifts the veil of harem life and shows us the gritty truth of life in fantasy-land. Her transformation from dream girl-for-hire to rock-n-roll mama proves that resilience and reinvention, more than diamonds, are a girl's best friend.

—Lily Burana, author of Strip City

Some Girls reads like a swiftly-paced novel, but gets under your skin in a way fiction can't. This is a striptease of a book, sexy and mesmerizing at first, but at the end a very real woman stands in front of you, exposed and vulnerable. I couldn't put it down, and when I was done, I couldn't stop thinking about it.

—Claire LaZebnik, author of Knitting Under the Influence

While the surprising and exotic subject matter is sure to pique interest, Lauren’s graceful, introspective prose lifts her unusual memoir far above the level of mere titillation.

—Kristine Huntley, written for The Booklist

Incredibly Engaging. Lauren is a gifted writer - full of ease, humor, and grace.

—Portland Mercury

Too good to read just once!

—Miami Herald

Some Girls is a heart-stoppingly thrilling story told by a punk rock Scheherazade. Lauren writes with such lyrical ease - the book is almost musical, an enduring melody of what it is to be a woman.

—Margaret Cho



Hyper Text Magazine

Hypertext Interview With Jillian Lauren Interview by Christine Rice, posted June 19, 2015

largehearted boy

Book Notes - Jillian Lauren "Everything You Ever Wanted" by David posted June 19, 2015

Hello Giggles

17 new books worthy of your summer reading list by Gina Vaynshteyn posted June 19, 2015

89.3 KPCC: The Frame

Weezer's tour life: Rocking out while changing diapers at the after-party by James Kim posted June 16, 2015


The Cost of Telling Your Truth, Publicly by Sari Botton , June 8 2015

The Washington Post

A surgeon confesses his mistakes, and other best memoirs for May By Nora Krug, published May 26, 2015


Brilliant and Brainy Books to Take to the Beach This Summer Posted May 21, 2015

LA Times

Review: Jillian Lauren's new memoir captures the joys and sorrows of adoption By Jennifer Gilmore, posted May 21, 2015

The Nervous Breakdown

Jillian Lauren: The Nervous Breakdown Interview By Andrea Arnold, posted May 13, 2015

For Crying Out Loud

Jillian Lauren Returns (podcast) with Lynette Carolla and Stefanie Wilder-Taylor. Posted May 11, 2015

The Boston Globe

‘Everything You Ever Wanted’ by Jillian Lauren by Meredith Maran, posted May 08, 2015


(NY Times Parenting blog) Shelf, iPad, Bed Table: Reading, April 2015 by KJ Dell'Antonia, posted May 7, 2015

Hip Mama

Love Song To The Ever After by Ariel Gore, posted May 5, 2015

Women Crush Wednesday: Jillian Lauren on Motherhood, Adoption, and Surviving the Hard Parts by Kelle, Posted May 6, 2015

Chat with Author, Adoptive Parent & Adoptee Jillian Lauren About New Book, Everything You Ever Wanted by Julie Corby, posted May 5, 2015

Kirkus Review

Exploring how we see identity through the process of adoption. Posted February 24, 2015


18 Of May 2015's Best Books To Either Read By Yourself Or Share With Your Mom This Month Posted May 1, 2015, By Caroline Goldstein

No Bohn’s About It

Posted April 15, 2015, by Erin

blog talk radio

Everything you ever wanted - Jillian Lauren Posted June 24, 2015

Adoptive Families

[BOOK EXCERPT] Everything You Ever Wanted Posted February, 2016, by Jillian Lauren and Sharon Van Epps

Sivana Spirit

I’m Jillian Lauren, And This Is My Dharma by Sivana, 2016 Posted


The Because Show

Episode 11: Fast Times in Brunei, December 10, 2011 Author Interview with Jillian Lauren with Jerilyn Deaver

Other People Podcast

Interview with Jillian Lauren, November 6, 2011 with Brad Listi

WHBF Radio

With Meredith Myers: Featuring Jillian Lauren, September 30, 2011

This American Wife

Episode 8, with special guests Justine Bateman and Jillian Lauren, July 27, 2010 with Eric Martin

Oprah Radio

Dating a Prince, June 22, 2010 with Dr. Laura Berman

Rumpus Radio

Rumpus Radio episode 3, featuring Po Bronson and Jillian Lauren, June 14, 2010 with Stephen Elliott and Issac Fitzgerald

Howard Stern

THE PRINCE'S #2 GIRL, May 25, 2010 with Howard Stern

NPR: Airtalk with Larry Mantle

May 18, 2010

In Bed with Susie Bright 438: Harem Girl Secrets: One Man, Forty Women, 2010 with Susie Bright

Drinks with Tony Podcast

with Tony DuShane


The Anti Room

Not Just Some Girl, June 2, 2011 by Clare Kleinedler

The Rumpus

Conversations With Writers Braver Than Me #6: Jillian Lauren, December 10, 2010 by Sari Botton

Book Fetish

Some Girls: My Life in a Harem: Jillian Lauren, July 29, 2010 by Renee C. Fountain

Drinking Diaries

Interview with Jillian Lauren, author of the memoir "Some Girls: My Life in a Harem," July 21, 2010 by Leah


Interview: Jillian Lauren, author of Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, July 13, 2010 by Twanna A. Hines


Elle's Lettres: June, Our Readers' Nonfiction Picks for the Month, June, 2010


Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, June 2010 by Emma Kat Richardson

Miami Herald

Review — Some Girls: Former harem girl for a prince tells all, June 7, 2010 by Christine Thomas

The Portland Mercury

I Dream of Jillian: Life in an Asian Harem as Seen by a New Jersey Teen, May 20, 2010 by Courtney Ferguson


Tales of Sex and Insight: How a Smart Girl From the 'Burbs Ended Up in a Harem in Faraway, Wealth Brunei, May 17, 2010y by Don Hazen


Exclusive Interview: Jillian Lauren's Harem Life in "Some Girls," May 10, 2010 by Violet Blue

Glo: MSN

True Life: I Lived in a Harem, May 9, 2010 by Natasha Burton

Marie Claire

My Life In A Harem, an interview with Jillian Lauren, April, 2010 by Anna Maltby

INsite Magazine

Book Review: Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, April 29, 2010


True Tales from a Former Harem Girl, April 27, 2010 by Lisa Johnson Mandell

Los Angeles Times

Sunday Conversation: Jillian Lauren, April 25, 2010

Los Angeles Times

LA Times Review of Some Girls, April 25, 2010 by Susan Salter Reynolds,0,6024749.story

LA Weekly

Been There. Done What?!, April 15, 2010 by Gendy Alimurung

Library Journal

Short Takes: 24 Spring Memoirs, January 21, 2010 by Tania Barnes, Elizabeth Brinkley, Lauren Gilbert & Lynne Maxwell

New York Post

My Nights at the Harem by Susannah Cahalan, December 27, 2009.


The Rumpus

The Rumpus Interview with Jillian Lauren, November 16, 2011 by Tony DuShane

BookRoom Reviews

An Interview With Jillian Lauren: Author of Pretty, October 27, 2011 by Christina Zawadiwsky

Portland Book Review

Jillian Lauren Interview October 22, 2011 by Diane Prokop,

The Austin American-Statesman

Writer Moves from Memoir to Fiction for 'Pretty' October 19, 2011 by Kathy Blackwell

BookRoom Reviews

Pretty Book Review, October 10, 2011 by Christina Zawadiwsky


Book Review of Pretty by Michael Cart, Pg. 23(1) Vol. 107 No. 22

Huffington Post

From Pretty Harem Girl to Bestselling Author, September 18, 2011 by Jeff Rivera

MSN Lifestyle

Gotta Have It – 9/8: The Dark Side, September 8, 2011

New York Journal of Books

Pretty, A Novel, August 30, 2011 by Carol Brill

Book Fetish

Review of Pretty, by Jillian Lauren, August 16, 2011 by Renee C. Fountain

The Nervous Breakdown

Review of Pretty, by Jillian Lauren, August 3, 2011 by Leah Tallon

Los Angeles Magazine

Author Spotlight, August 2011 by Amy Wallace

Other Press:

89.3 KPCC: The Frame

Weezer's tour life: Rocking out while changing diapers at the after-party by James Kim posted June 16, 2015

Jillian Lauren on great books and creating a literary community by Carolyn Kellogg, April 11, 2014

The New York Times 6th Floor Blog

The Greatest Stories Ever Told Can Now Be Read, Too (The Moth Anthology) by David Vecsey, September 3, 2013

The Chicago Tribune

Editor’s Choice (The Moth Anthology) by Elizabeth Taylor


Authors Who Happen To Be Mothers Talk That 'Selfish' Writing Life In Time For Mother's Day, May 11, 2013 by Koa Beck

Lunch Ticket

Interview: Jillian Lauren, Author and Memoirist by Lise Quintana

The New York Times Sunday Book Review

THE COOL SCHOOL Writing From America’s Hip Underground Edited by Glenn O’Brien

The New York Times: The 6th Floor

The Greatest Stories Ever Told Can Now Be Read Too By David Vecsey

Chicago Tribune: Lifestyles

Editor's Choice By Elizabeth Taylor

The Moth

The Moth - 50 True Stories A List of Press for the Book

Motherhood Later

Meet Later Mom: Jillian Lauren

Gillian G Illustration



Los Angeles International Screenplay Award Official Selection

TV Top Finalist - LA Femme International Film Festival 2017