"The Tea Party .. The True Heirs to the American Revolution?". The Sunday Edition. CBC. Website. 2010.
Past and Present with Jill Lepore: The Parrot Fever Panic. The Brian Lehrer Show. WNYC. Website. 2011.
Past and Present with Jill Lepore: The Politics of Death. The Brian Lehrer Show. WNYC. Website. 2011.
Jane Kamensky and Jill Lepore: Facts and Fictions in Revolutionary Boston. Common-place 9, no. 3. WebsiteAbstract. 2009.
Common-place asks its founding editors about their collaboratively written novel, set in Revolutionary-era Boston—Blindspot, a Novel, by a Gentleman in Exile and a Lady in Disguise (2008)—and about relationships between history and fiction in general.
Footnotes to Fiction: Jane Kamensky and Jill Lepore. www.oah.org. WebsiteAbstract. 2009.
What happens when historians write fiction? We decided to find out. Blindspot, our novel, is set in 1764, in Boston, a city reeling from the economic downturn following the French and Indian War, and beginning to simmer with the fires of liberty. The book tells the story of Stewart Jameson, a Scottish portrait painter fleeing debtor’s prison, and Fanny Easton, the fallen daughter of one of Boston’s richest merchants, who poses as a boy to gain a situation as Jameson’s apprentice. Their lives take a turn when Samuel Bradstreet, Speaker of the Massachusetts Assembly, is murdered the day Jameson and Easton are to paint him.
Blindspot: A Novel; A send-up of eighteenth-century literary forms . Harvard Magazine. WebsiteAbstract. 2008.
Jill Lepore and Jane Kamensky, friends since graduate school, didn’t plan to write a book. Their project, set in 1760s Boston, was supposed to be a sketch, a playful spoof of two genres: the picaresque, with its rogue hero exposing the hypocrisy around him, and the sentimental epistolary narrative—in this instance, a series of letters from a young “fallen” woman to a friend. Lepore would write a chapter as Stewart Jameson, a portrait painter in exile; then Kamensky would pick up the story in a letter from Miss Fanny Easton. They planned to present the finished product as a gift to their mentor, John Demos, the historian under whom both studied at Yale.
Boston When It Was British -- and Bawdy: Two friends in academe pen a historical novel; dating a check '1708'. Wall Street Journal, sec. Books. WebsiteAbstract. 2008.
Historians, Ralph Ellison once said, are "responsible liars," but at least they're responsible. Historical novelists, on the other hand, don't let facts get in the way of a good story. But in "Blindspot," to be published next week, two academic historians and long-time friends, Jane Kamensky and Jill Lepore, have painted a portrait of pre-Revolutionary Boston that is true to the spirit of the time while inventing a couple of romantic, witty, down-on-their-luck, larger-than-life characters struggling to stay afloat in a tumultuous time. Ms. Kamensky is the chairwoman of Brandeis University's history department; Ms. Lepore is chairwoman of the History and Literature Program at Harvard University and a contributor to the New Yorker magazine. Both have written several works of nonfiction; this is their first novel.
A talk with Jane Kamensky and Jill Lepore: Two noted history professors move from fact to fiction. Boston Globe, sec. Ideas. WebsiteAbstract. 2008.
Lepore and Kamensky spoke with Ideas in a joint interview at the Hi-Rise bakery in Harvard Square.
Back Talk: Jill Lepore and Jane Kamensky. The Nation. WebsiteAbstract. 2009.
Jill Lepore, a professor of history at Harvard, and Jane Kamensky, a professor of history at Brandeis, met as graduate students in the 1980s. In 2007, the two began to write a historical novel. The product of that collaboration, the occasionally racy Blindspot (Spiegel & Grau, $24.95), tells the story of the portrait painter Stewart Jameson and his apprentice, "Francis Weston," née Fanny Easton, the disguised daughter of a prominent Bostonian. Lepore and Kamensky compiled glossaries, consulted collections of urban slang and lifted freely from eighteenth-century sources. With each in charge of one narrator--Lepore wrote Jameson's chapters, Kamensky Easton's letters--the two volleyed passages back and forth, like "a tennis game."--Christine Smallwood
The Exchange: Jill Lepore and Jane Kamensky (Part 1). The New Yorker. WebsiteAbstract. 2009.
The historical mystery "Blindspot" (Spiegel & Grau) is a collaboration between the New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore, who is also a professor of American history and the chair of the History and Literature Program at Harvard, and Jane Kamensky, the chair of the Department of History at Brandeis. Set in Boston during the summer of 1764, against the backdrop of the colonies' increasing discontent, the novel imagines the lives of Stewart Jameson, a swashbuckling Scottish portrait painter, and Fanny Easton, a young woman whose circumstances have forced her into disguise in order to serve as his painting apprentice. Lepore and Kamensky graciously took a moment to answer our questions. Below is our discussion with Lepore; later today, we'll post our talk with Kamensky.
The Uses of American History: An Interview with Jill Lepore. Historically Speaking (Project MUSE) 12, no. 2: 23-24.Abstract. 2011.
Historically Speaking editor Randall Stephens spoke with Lepore about the uses of history, the politicization of the past, and writing for the general public.