cover image Camp Austen: My Life as an Accidental Jane Austen Superfan

Camp Austen: My Life as an Accidental Jane Austen Superfan

Ted Scheinman. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $14 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-0-86547-821-3

In this lively debut, Scheinman expertly captures the most memorable moments from the year and a half that he spent “in the world of Jane Austen fandom.” The son of an Austen scholar, Scheinman “half willingly and half accidentally” found work at a four-day conference called Jane Austen Summer Camp, where he learned the rules of a worldwide “secret society” of Jane Austen fans—known simply as Janeites—whose enthusiasm for novels such Pride and Prejudice is “passionate to the point of obsession.” He describes meetings of the Jane Austen Society of North America, where “hundreds of superfans congregate to dispute interpretations, share recipes... and argue with the finest scholars in the world.” Constantly taking notes “like an embedded reporter,” Scheinman observed the “thrilling and disarming” fellowship shared by scholars and laypeople and realized that Austen is “the rare sort of author who makes possible this unaccustomed exchange between academics and civilians.” This is a loving and often humorous tribute to the Janeites of the world. (Mar.)