Why I’m an Ayelet Waldman Superfan

This is a Guest Post by Nina Badzin, a Pushcart Prize-nominated short story writer and aspiring novelist. She blogs about the writing life, marriage, and motherhood at http://ninabadzin.com.

New York Times Bestselling author Ayelet Waldman is coming to the Sabes JCC on Sunday, March 6th at 6pm. I’ll be the freak in the front row wearing my “President of the Ayelet Waldman Fan Club” t-shirt.

Fine, I’m exaggerating about the shirt. But I am squealing on the inside like a crazed groupie knowing I’ll see Ms. Waldman discuss her novels and essays in person.


Because Ms. Waldman is the kind of author I aspire to become. Her writing flows seamlessly between humorous, spot-on insightful, challenging, and brutally honest–all in one novel or a single essay.

Pick up her novel Love and Other Impossible Pursuits (which was made into the movie The Other Woman, starring Natalie Portman) and you’ll find a story simultaneously heartbreaking and laugh-out-loud witty. I’ve read it twice and recommend it to constantly to friends and family. I told you–Fan Club President.

Her book of essays, Bad Mother, is about, in Ms. Waldman’s words, “the perils and joys of trying to be a decent mother in a world intent on making you feel like a bad one.” I read Bad Mother in a day, nodding all the way through. She’s written essays for The New York Times, Salon, and recently, The Wall Street Journal ,where she responded to the Tiger Mom sensation from a Jewish mom’s perspective. I thought she nailed it.

Her versatility astounds me. Waldman’s recent novel, Red Hook Road, begins with such delicate language it’s hard to believe she’s describing a devastating accident and the sorrow of the characters who must rebuild their lives.

I admire my Ayelet–I mean Ms. Waldman–for her consistent high quality. I love the presence of Jewish themes, customs, and Yiddish words in her characters’ lives and in her personal essays. I’m enthralled by her general chutzpah on Twitter and elsewhere. Other than her husband, her children, her family, and her friends–I know I’m her biggest fan. Darn it, I’ll wear that creepy shirt if it knocks out my competition.

Even if you haven’t read Ayelet Waldman’s work (what’s wrong with you?) she’s known as an excellent speaker and you don’t want to miss her appearance in the Twin Cities. Guess what? The uber-connected TC Jewfolk is giving away one pair of free tickets.


Answer this question in the comments below–Are you the unofficial president of somebody’s fan club? (writer, musician, artist, celebrity)--before Tuesday, March 1st at midnight.

Of course as President of the Ayelet Waldman fan club, I encourage you to buy tickets if you don’t win them. The evening includes a discussion, book signing and reception with Ms. Waldman.

For more information and tickets call 952.381.3499 or email tickets@sabesjcc.org. Cost : $12 General Public; $10 Premium and Community Members $8; Students


About Nina Badzin @NinaBadzin

Nina Badzin is a Minneapolis-based essayist, short story writer, and a mother of four. You can also find her blogging regularly at http://ninabadzin.com. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NinaBadzinBlog. Twitter: @NinaBadzin

Comments. Add Yours!


  1. Great post! I’m the unofficial president of the Nina Badzin fan club. I’m looking forward to reading her published novel someday!

  2. Fabulous post! Thanks for introducing me to AW. Didn’t realize she was the one who wrote that fab WSJ response to Tiger mom.

  3. I LOVE Ayelet Waldman’s works. If you don’t wear the t-shirt, I will!

  4. Hi Nina! <waving
    This sounds like my kind of author! Adding her to my "to read" list and hopping on the library website! (unfortunately, my desire for books far outreaches the contents of my wallet! lol)
    Great article, per the usual! 😉

  5. She is a great writer and you are too! thanks for writing what we are all thinking!

  6. I totally was going to say I am the president of the Nina Badzin fan club but as I was reading the other comments I saw Kate already took that position, so I guess I will be Vice president. Anyway I loved this post and seriously almost tried to win the tickets, but than decided it would be a little difficult to get there from Chicago. You did sell me on reading some of her books. If she is not following you on Twitter she will be after seeing you in that t-shirt!

  7. I turned her essay about children interfering with her sex life into a post on my blog. I thought that it was quite interesting and not surprisingly it was one of the most popular posts I had. She is a fine writer.

  8. Mazals Kate – you’ll be headed to see two of your favorite writers that day (you won’t be able to miss Nina, she’ll be wearing her Superfan tee). Enjoy!