Jennifer Katz was born and raised near Fort Lauderdale, FL along with a twin brother, a younger sister, and a toy poodle named Muffin. During her high school years, she constantly read books. She also sang in a quartet, acted in plays, and volunteered in a hospital emergency room.

Jenny attended the University of Miami. Although initially a journalism major, she developed an interest in social science research, and specifically psychology, after Hurricane Andrew ravaged the area. Later, Jenny earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Georgia and pursued a career as an academic clinical psychologist. She met her future spouse, Tristram Smith, during a job interview in Pullman, WA.

After she was hired, Jenny and Tris became friends. With time, Jenny found herself enchanted by Tris as well as his adorable son, Jonah. Jenny and Tris married and the trio moved to Rochester, NY. A few years later, the happy couple traveled to China to adopt their daughter Madeleine. At the time of Tris’ heart attack, the couple had been married for 18 years, leaving Jenny widowed at age 45.

An award-winning professor at SUNY Geneseo, she teaches and writes academic papers about gender, sexuality, and helping relationships. Outside of work, she loves to socialize with friends, practice yoga, read, and volunteer as a talk line counselor. The Good Widow is her first book.

July 2021 Interview: 5 Things You Need to Heal