Jen was born in South Africa, and has lived in five of its nine provinces. She attended high school at Epworth High School in Pietermaritzburg. She attended university at Rhodes University between 2003 and 2008 where she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Philosophy, her Bachelor of Arts Honours in Politics, and received a Masters in Politics focussing on raunch culture and feminism. In 2014 she received a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town.
She has worked with the Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust, Parliament of South Africa, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation, the Open Society Foundation for South Africa, and was appointed a Commissioner for Gender Equality in 2019. In these roles she has focussed on promoting gender equality and ending violence against women. Find out more about her career as a gender policy specialist here, or watch some of her interviews, here.
Jen has published two essay collections and one novel. Find out more about them in the Books tab above. Her novel, The Peculiars, was long listed for the Sunday Times Fiction Prize and the Etisalat Fiction Prize. A third essay collection and a second fiction book will be out in 2020. Watch this space.
Jen has also written numerous features articles for the Mail and Guardian, the City Press, News24, the Heinrich Boll Foundation, Women and Girls Hub, Cosmopolitan SA, Marie Claire, Elle, the Saturday Star, the African Women’s Development Fund and others. Find out more on the Writing page.
For recent writing, take a look at her blog and subscribe, here.
If you’d like to get in touch with Jen for information or commissions, find her details on the contact page.