Praise for The Limits of the World

“Acker’s rich and rewarding debut novel features a generational cultural gap… but reworks the traditional narrative. Acker is a brainy writer, making associations with British colonialism and touching on philosophy at Harvard, religiosity, and morality, but she also writes with great heart. … [A] novel full of characters wrestling with ethical questions [that] has updated the immigration saga with a gaze that looks back to Kenya and carries its own urgent suspense.”
—Elizabeth Taylor, The National Book Review

“Ambitious in geographical scope and philosophical engagement. …Acker trusts her readers to keep up with challenging ethical theorizing and to be able to handle the unvarnished truth about her characters. The backstory of the original migration … offers fascinating insights into the social hierarchies of colonial Africa. …[A] complex and compelling tale.”
— Shoba Viswanathan, Booklist

“A rare but honest look at the way parents, children, and spouses talk to one another but don’t always hear what’s being said. A thoughtful, deeply researched debut.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Acker unwinds a complex intergenerational story of immigration, culture, family, partnership, and ethics in her skillful debut. [The novel’s] travels through Kenya move effortlessly through dreamy sequences and feature plenty of difficult ethical questions and tense family drama. Fans of Jhumpa Lahiri or Yaa Gyasi will want to check out Acker’s elegant saga.”
Publishers Weekly




January 16. Worcester Public Library.
11am-12 pm. Author talk with Q&A. 
Virtual event. Register here.


January 23, 2020. Falmouth Jewish Congregation.
1:00 pm.
7 Hatchville Rd, East Falmouth, MA 02536 

February 4. Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
7 pm. 124 East Washington St.

February 6. University of Michigan, Dearborn.
12:30 pm. With Ghassan Zeineddine.

March 14-15 Tucson Festival of Books. (Covid-postponed)
March 14, 2:30 pm. Fiction writing workshop.
March 15, 2:30 pm. Debut authors panel.

October 21, 2020
8 pm Eastern Time.
Pandemic Poetics with Tess Taylor and Dana Levin. Zoom registration here

October 28, 2020
4:30 pm Eastern Time.
10th anniversary celebration for The Common. Details and Zoom registration here

October 28, 2020
7 pm Eastern Time.
Concord Lit Fest. 2020 Massachusetts Book Award winners and finalists.
Details and Zoom registration here


Fall 2019

 September 22, Brooklyn Book Festival
1:00pm Human Nature Versus Nature / The Climate Conflict, with Amitav Ghosh, Pitchaya Sudbanthad, and Nell Zink
3:00pm Who? New! With Christine Coulson, Tope Folarin, Stephanie Jimenez, and Peter Mendelsund

October 19, 2 pm. Boston Book Festival
“Reading Like a Writer: Setting” with Lauren Acampora, Pablo Medina, and Michelle Hoover
BPL Orientation Room: 700 Boylston St 

October 20, 10;30 am. Indian American Arts Council Literary Festival
In conversation with Megha Majumdar
Hagop Kavorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies. 50 Washington Square South at 255 Sullivan Avenue. 

October 23, 7pm. Stony Brook Southampton
In conversation with Susan Scarf Merrell.

November 14, The Contemporary Book Club, Jones Library, Amherst, MA

December 4, 1-3 pm. University of California Riverside, Round Lab. Riverside, CA 
In conversation with Susan Straight and Joanna Greenberg

December 5, 7 pm. The 1888 Center (Orange, CA)
Workshop and book talk with Ada Tseng
Join the Facebook event!

December 13, 4-6 pm. Milken Institute (Santa Monica, CA)
In conversation with Carol Costello
1250 Fourth Street, 1st Floor
Please register here for the event.

Reviews & Features

“A magnificent achievement.”—Review by Krupa Shandilya in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

“When I met Jennifer Acker ten years ago…she had two big dreams.” —Feature by Ada Tseng in the LA Times.

“Deeply emphathetic and…presents wonderfully complicated humanity.”—Review by Ilana Masad in the Portland Press Herald.

An enlightening read for anyone who knows or wants to know about Africa; or simply, anyone who is interested in human relationships.—Review by Neha Kirpal in India Currents

This is an immensely rewarding first novel, with lessons for both the heart and the mind.—Review by Nicholas Mancusi

Jennifer Acker is an emerging novelist to keep an eye on, one in conversation with writers like Anne Tyler, Alice Munro, and Tessa Hadley. —Review in the Washington Independent Review of Books. 

I didn’t know what was wrong with me physically; I didn’t know what was wrong with my book. I wasn’t sure how I was going to crawl my way out of either of those situations. —Interview with Hannah Gersen in The Millions 

Wild animals play such a large role in our imagination. They’re so vivid that I continue to think about them and bring them throughout the story. —Interview with Galit Gottlieb in LitHub via New Books Network.

The books below are all superb, affecting, culturally rich novels that also have the virtue of portraying the individuals in intercultural relationships as idiosyncratic, well-rounded people (and not reduced to cultural ideals/types even in times of stress and breakdown). —”Five Novels with Interracial Love,” interview with Jane Ciabattari, Book Marks. 

Acker’s lyrical book raises complex questions about assimilation, progress and tradition, as well as the pull of familial duties and the drive for self-fulfillment. A satisfying and meaty debut. — Review by Jessica McEntee, Booktrib

It took ten years to write this book, and I want to enjoy this moment. —Feature in The Hampshire Gazette


Radio, Podcasts & Video

Interview with Jill Kaufman of New England Public Radio.

Massachusetts Book Awards video.  

Conversation with Ilan Stavans on the In Contrast podcast.

WCBS (New York) Author Talks podcast.

Conversation with writer Aatish Taseer for Amherst Reads.

Conversation with Galit Gottlieb on the New Books in Literature Podcast from New Books Network  for LitHub Radio.

Conversation with writer & comic Alex Barnett on the Multiracial Family Man podcast.

Conversation with Mark DeWayne Combs on the Public Display of Imagination podcast.

Video interview with Worcester Public Library.





Harper Collins

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