Jane Pollak

Memoir

Masterfully written, heartfelt memoir of a 30-years-plus marriage gone south.

Jane Pollak was born in the heart of the Midwest, but she inherited the city gene from her New York City-native parents. When Pollak’s marriage ended in 2011, she moved back to Manhattan, where she currently resides contentedly single. She has three grown children and three grandchildren. Her first book, Decorating Eggs: Exquisite Designs with Wax & Dye, was recently republished. Her second book, Soul Proprietor: 101 Lessons from a Lifestyle Entrepreneur, shares what she learned as a home-based business owner who successfully turned her passion into a thriving company. She also is the author of the memoir Too Much of Not Enough, available now.

Read BookTrib’s review of Jane’s book, Too Much of Not Enough.

Visit her website for more information.

BOOKS:

Decorating Eggs: Exquisite Designs with Wax & Dye (1996)

Soul Proprietor: 101 Lessons from a Lifestyle Entrepreneur (2001)

Too Much of Not Enough (2019)

Biggest literary influencers:

Anne Lamott, Mary Karr

Last book read:

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

The book that changed your life:

The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck starts this self-help bible with the sentence “Life is difficult.” I had not read anything like that before discovering him and the world of self-improvement in my late 20’s. I’m not sure I had my own personal life philosophy back then but reading that LIFE is difficult was news to me. Prior to adopting that mantra, I thought I was defective because I struggled in life to make everything look perfect. Peck’s book gave me permission to adjust my thinking and look at new ways of viewing challenges. Oh! I’m not bad, deficient or wrong to be having a hard time. Here is a situation and I can take my time to assess it and deal with it and not make myself wrong in the process.

Your favorite literary character:

Sayuri, the geisha in Memoirs of a Geisha, comes to mind. You see the circumstances of her life, how she ended up in a situation, not by choice, and how she eventually transcends her station and lives a contented life. The line that I continue to remember is: “It is difficult to speak frankly about pain until you are no longer suffering it” (paraphrased). I didn’t realize how unsatisfying my marriage was until I fell in love a couple of years after my divorce and thought, Oh! This is what it’s like to be loved.

Currently working on:

Workshops and keynote talks around my memoir’s theme of leading a satisfying life.

Words to live by:

One day at a time.

Advice to new and aspiring authors:

Surround yourself with support: writers, coaches, instructors, editors, loving readers and friends. Writing is hard, and writers deserve all the love and support they can absorb. Your job is to write, re-write and submit your work. Whatever you need to do to continue showing up to the page is essential to your creation.

Articles / Reviews:

New York Magazine article from It’s Complicated

Testimonials:

“In this memoir, entrepreneur and public speaker Pollak recounts the dissolution of her marriage and the subsequent realizations that changed her life . . . Her interpretation of relationships in a 12-step frame offers a refreshing change from other addiction narratives . . . Her memoir is at its best when she puts forth her own voice, effectively synthesizing complex feelings into powerful, revealing phrases: ‘Intimacy once removed was delicious,’ she writes regarding codependency. ‘Too close, and it felt like a burden.’ . . . A smart, empowering work about self-discovery that features strong prose and intriguing takes on self-help strategies.”
Kirkus Reviews