Salem Author Spreads Peanut Butter, Naan and Gratitude


Five years ago, Sprague High School graduate Jennifer Hillman-Magnuson, her husband Robert Magnuson and five children ages 1 to 14 moved from Tennessee to Chennai in Southeast India on the Bay of Bengal.

Jennifer began writing in her journal while in the car. "It was just a diversion because I was so afraid of the traffic." She used her journal entries on a private blog to communicate with friends and family at home.

Today, those writings are the basis of Jennifer's first published book, "Peanut Butter and Naan: Stories of an American Mom in the Far East." Published by She Writes Press, the memoir hit shelves and digital readers in November. Last week, she read for a crowd of 70 at the Book Bin in Salem, where her family now lives. In the coming months, she'll tour and promote the book, while working on two more.

"I saw it as a short travel memoir. I didn't see it as a long, epic journey like 'Eat, Pray, Love.' I wanted it to be something a mom could pick up in the airport and manage to read if she had a bunch of kids with her, because that's how I travel," Jennifer said. "I wanted it to be the written equivalent of sitting in a living room and telling a bunch of my girlfriends what it was like to live in India."

'Peanut Butter and Naan' by Jennifer Hillman-Magnuson
Publisher - She Writes Press (November 11, 2014)
Formats - Paperback and digital
Pages - 208
Available - Locally at the Book Bin and online at major retailers
Schedule of Future Readings -


Original Article by Tom Mayhall Rastrelli, Statesman Journal (1-29-15)


  • Created By Carter McQuigg -- 5/23/2017

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