Emily Giffin’s previous novels—Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof and Love the One You’re With—are bestsellers and have been translated into 29 languages. And, more than 5 million copies are collectively in print worldwide! On May 11, her latest, Heart of the Matter ($26.99, St. Martin’s Press), will debut and it has already been called her most ambitious, layered and emotionally charged novel to date.
Giffin’s books are known for their endearingly ﬂawed characters and emotional complexity; three of them have even been optioned for the big screen. Something Borrowed has been fast-tracked for an early 2010 shoot by the production companies of Hilary Swank and Edward Burns. (At press time, actress Ginnifer Goodwin has been cast as Rachel, one of the lead characters.)
A Chicago native, Giffin graduated summa cum laude from Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law. After law school, she moved to Manhattan and practiced litigation at a large ﬁrm for several years while she paid back her school loans, writing a novel in her limited spare time and dreaming of becoming a writer.
Despite the rejection of her ﬁrst manuscript, Giffin persisted; she retired from the legal profession and moved to London to pursue her dreams fulltime. It was there that she began writing Something Borrowed (2004), a story of a young woman who, upon turning 30, ﬁnally learned to take a risk and follow her heart. One year later, Giffin’s own gamble paid off as she completed her manuscript, landed an agent and signed a two-book deal on both sides of the Atlantic. The following summer, Something Borrowed—hailed as a “heartbreakingly honest debut” with “dead-on dialogue, real-life complexity and genuine warmth”—became a surprise sensation and Giffin vowed never to practice law again. After her husband accepted a job at Newell Rubbermaid, the couple moved from London to Atlanta. “I can’t imagine a better place to raise a family,” says the author, who is also the mother of three small children.
My home reflects…a love of books, art and photographs. I view my home as a sanctuary ﬁlled with memories—and decorating as the ultimate form of self-expression.
I get my best inspiration…on long walks, alone, and from late-night phone conversations with my sister and friends.
My favorite shopping spots for clothing are…Sandpiper, Poppy’s, Jeffrey and J.Crew.
The one beauty product I can’t live without is…La Mer lip balm. I buy them by the half-dozen. There are two on my desk right now.
What most people don’t know about me is…that I don’t drive on highways.
My favorite museums are…The National Portrait Gallery and the Tate Modern, both in London. I prefer smaller museums with more manageable collections.
When I get an unexpected day to myself…I love catching a matinee. There is nothing more satisfying than being alone in the middle of a dark theater with a box of Raisinets.
My favorite place for quiet contemplation is…my attic office, although some of my best writing has taken place in the din of a crowded coffee shop.
My favorite way to entertain at home is…casually, with close friends on the back porch.
The person I look up to most is…anyone at the top of her game—whether a stay-at-home mother or Hollywood producer. I admire conﬁdence and authenticity.
The one place in Atlanta I always take guests is…the Georgia Aquarium. It is beyond compare. We took the kids to London one year and they thought the aquarium there was a pet store.
The place I love to travel is…anywhere exotic and very different from home. My favorite trips have been to South Africa, Israel and Iceland. And I adore France—from Provence to Paris, Normandy to Nice.
My proudest professional moment came when…my ﬁrst novel, Something Borrowed, hit The New York Times bestseller list.
The car I drive is…a mini-van. Perhaps from living in Manhattan and London, I have zero car pride or interest. And with three children, I am all about convenience and ease.
My signature color is…navy, although I am currently enjoying turquoise and purple in both fashion and home
accents—and book jackets!
My Sunday routine…varies, but it always involves family time. My current favorite is to take my kids to Dunkin’ Donuts where we read together (and I try to resist that second doughnut).
The first thing I see when I wake up…is my BlackBerry on my nightstand and the emails that came in from the West Coast while I was sleeping.
FAVORITES AT HOME
Favorite table linens: Vintage
Favorite fashion designer: Dolce & Gabbana
Favorite dinnerware: Convivio White by Match
Favorite flower: Orchid
Favorite wine: a very cold, crisp Sancerre
Favorite artisanal food: Blue cheese from King Island, Australia
Favorite artist: Robert Motherwell
Favorite music: Ray LaMontagne and other sensitive male vocalists
Favorite furniture style: Soft contemporary
Favorite architectural style: Classical with streamlined, modern details