Young Jane Austen: Becoming a Writer

ISBN: 978-1-939288-90-5
188 pages, full-color, illustrated
fully indexed, $17.75
Pub Date: APRIL 2015

“Like the very best of books, Young Jane Austen exists well beyond labels. It is an empathetic biography and an empathic search, a reflection on a singular person and an engaging, universal treatise on creative fervor. At the heart of it all lives an against-the-odds heroine who helped launch that strange, imperfect, necessary creature we now call the novel.”
— Beth Kephart, author, Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir

“A delightful glimpse into the world of the young Jane Austen, which will appeal to adults as well as teenagers. The narrative is beautifully written, enabling the reader to vividly imagine Jane's world of family, events, and her inner life, on the journey to becoming a writer during her formative years. The addition of annotations and reference material, gained from many sources, help further explore the historical background and context, along with accompanying illustrations, setting Jane Austen firmly in the Georgian world – a charming tribute.”
— Jane Odiwe, author of seven Austen-inspired books



Lisa Pliscou

Lisa Pliscou writes for both children and adults. Young Jane Austen: Becoming a Writer, an award-winning biography for adults which focuses on Austen’s creative development, is her eighth book. In 2016, Open Road Media published a new edition of Lisa’s first novel, Higher Education, originally published by Viking Penguin and praised by David Foster Wallace, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist, and The Orient, among others. Henry Holt will publish her picture-book biography, Jane Austen, the Girl Who Wrote, in 2017, and Wyatt-MacKenzie is slated to publish Running Toward, a novel, in 2018.
















WINNER of a SILVER IPPY Award in Biographies | WINNER ForeWord Book-of-the-Year | WINNER Indie Excellence Award

What was Jane Austen like as a child?

What were her formative influences and experiences, her challenges and obstacles, that together set her on the path toward becoming a writer?

Drawing upon a wide array of sources, including Austen’s own books and correspondence, Lisa Pliscou has created a “speculative biography” which, along with 20 charming black-and-white illustrations, offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of young Jane Austen.

Also included is a richly detailed, annotated version of the biographical narrative and an overview of Austen’s life, legacy, and the era in which she lived, as well as a timeline of her key childhood events.

Young Jane Austen is sure to intrigue anyone interested
in Jane Austen, in writing and the creative process,
and in the triumph of the artistic spirit.


"Lisa Pliscou has written a beautiful little book on the early life of Jane Austen. Based on extensive research, Young Jane Austen will delight anyone who has ever been enchanted by the marvelous wit and storytelling of one of our greatest authors, and wondered how Jane’s own childhood compared with those of her most memorable characters."
—Laura Fraser, author of All Over the Map and An Italian Affair

“Gracefully written and illustrated, Lisa Pliscou’s Young Jane Austen offers captivating insights into Austen’s early years and her sometimes rocky path toward becoming a writer, in an era when this was decidedly not a ‘proper’ career choice for a girl. Teenagers especially will relate to young Jane’s challenges and struggles in finding her way — finding her unique voice — in life. This is a great biographical introduction to Austen, and to her novels as well. I learned much about one of my top-ten authors of all time!” —Nancy Gruver, founder and CEO of New Moon Girl Media, board member of the Brave Girls Alliance, and author of How to Say It to Girls