“In Texts from Jane Eyre Mallory Ortberg hilariously proves that she understands fictional characters better than they understand themselves. She makes me laugh like no one else.”

—Rainbow Rowell

bestselling author of Eleanor & Park and Fangirl

Hilariously imagined text conversations—the passive aggressive, the clever, and the strange—from classic and modern literary figures, from Scarlett O’Hara to Jessica Wakefield

Mallory Ortberg, the co-creator of the cult-favorite website The Toast, presents this whimsical collection of hysterical text conversations from your favorite literary characters. Everyone knows that if Scarlett O’Hara had an unlimited text-and-data plan, she’d constantly try to tempt Ashley away from Melanie with suggestive messages. If Mr. Rochester could text Jane Eyre, his ardent missives would obviously be in all-caps. And Daisy Buchanan would not only text while driving, she’d text you to pick her up after she totaled her car.

Based on the popular web-feature, Texts from Jane Eyre is a witty, irreverent mashup that brings the characters from your favorite books into the twenty-first century.

“In Texts from Jane Eyre Mallory Ortberg hilariously proves that she understands fictional characters better than they understand themselves. She makes me laugh like no one else.”

—Rainbow Rowell

bestselling author of Eleanor & Park and Fangirl

Hilariously imagined text conversations—the passive aggressive, the clever, and the strange—from classic and modern literary figures, from Scarlett O’Hara to Jessica Wakefield

Mallory Ortberg, the co-creator of the cult-favorite website The Toast, presents this whimsical collection of hysterical text conversations from your favorite literary characters. Everyone knows that if Scarlett O’Hara had an unlimited text-and-data plan, she’d constantly try to tempt Ashley away from Melanie with suggestive messages. If Mr. Rochester could text Jane Eyre, his ardent missives would obviously be in all-caps. And Daisy Buchanan would not only text while driving, she’d text you to pick her up after she totaled her car.

Based on the popular web-feature, Texts from Jane Eyre is a witty, irreverent mashup that brings the characters from your favorite books into the twenty-first century.

“Dear Mallory Ortberg’s Publisher: Please send me 27 cases of Texts from Jane Eyre, because I ate it like it was candy coated in crack cocaine, it’s the best, and I need to give it to everyone.”

—Elizabeth Gilbert

bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things

“I'm not sure what's more impressive--the ferocity of Mallory Ortberg's intelligence or the ferocity of her wit. Texts from Jane Eyre is uncanny in its sly humor and still, there is much in these pages that is familiar. Ortberg takes some of the greatest literary characters (and a few lesser ones), and offers us an entirely new and thrilling way of thinking about them and what they might be like in this dazzling digital age.”

—Roxane Gay

author of An Untamed State and Bad Feminist

“Witty and literate. Smart-ass humor with an emphasis on smart. I'm not sure who I'm more jealous of: Mallory Ortberg for her comic brilliance, or whoever got to sit next to her in high school English.”

—Adam Bertocci

author of Two Gentlemen of Lebowski

“Mallory Ortberg is actually, literally the funniest person on the internet. It turns out she has also read everything. This is the smartest, most highbrow, most sophisticated literary book that will ever make you pee yourself in public.”

—Rachel Fershleiser

co-creator of the New York Times bestselling Six-Word Memoir books

Reviews & Features

KQED Arts / The Blueshift Journal / The Globe & Mail / Entertainment Weekly / Cafe.com / NPR "Morning Edition" / Mother Jones / Dame Magazine / EW.com / The New Republic / EW.com / Elle.com / Flavorwire / The Guardian / Refinery29 / Huffington Post / New York Magazine / The Hairpin / Musing / Flavorwire / Washington Post / Bookriot / The Atlantic Wire

“Dear Mallory Ortberg’s Publisher: Please send me 27 cases of Texts from Jane Eyre, because I ate it like it was candy coated in crack cocaine, it’s the best, and I need to give it to everyone.”

—Elizabeth Gilbert

bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things

“I'm not sure what's more impressive--the ferocity of Mallory Ortberg's intelligence or the ferocity of her wit. Texts from Jane Eyre is uncanny in its sly humor and still, there is much in these pages that is familiar. Ortberg takes some of the greatest literary characters (and a few lesser ones), and offers us an entirely new and thrilling way of thinking about them and what they might be like in this dazzling digital age.”

—Roxane Gay

author of An Untamed State and Bad Feminist

“Witty and literate. Smart-ass humor with an emphasis on smart. I'm not sure who I'm more jealous of: Mallory Ortberg for her comic brilliance, or whoever got to sit next to her in high school English.”

—Adam Bertocci

author of Two Gentlemen of Lebowski

“Mallory Ortberg is actually, literally the funniest person on the internet. It turns out she has also read everything. This is the smartest, most highbrow, most sophisticated literary book that will ever make you pee yourself in public.”

—Rachel Fershleiser

co-creator of the New York Times bestselling Six-Word Memoir books

Reviews & Features

KQED Arts / The Blueshift Journal / The Globe & Mail / Entertainment Weekly / Cafe.com / NPR "Morning Edition" / Mother Jones / Dame Magazine / EW.com / The New Republic / EW.com / Elle.com / Flavorwire / The Guardian / Refinery29 / Huffington Post / New York Magazine / The Hairpin / Musing / Flavorwire / Washington Post / Bookriot / The Atlantic Wire

Download as a PDF

CIRCE

hi Odysseus
what are you doing for dinner tonight

Circe.

what
oh my god whatttt

Circe

stop it with my name
i don’t know what you’re mad about
are you mad

Circe I’m not coming over for dinner

whyyyyy

you know why

no i don’t
I’m a witch
not a
not the captain of knowing why of things

what are all those pigs doing outside your house

I don’t know
whatever pigs do
truffle-hunting

Circe

i think the technical term is mycophagy
but I’m not 100% on that

where did the pigs come from Circe

i don’t know
a pig farm
a pig mommy and a pig daddy who loved each other very much
and gave each other a special handshake

CIRCE

oh my god okay fine
they’re your crew, you got me
i turned all of your friends into pigs

why did you turn my friends into pigs

i don’t know
maybe the real question is
why are your friends
so turn-into-pigsable

turn them back into humans

will you come over for dinner if i turn them back into humans

turn them back into humans first and we’ll talk

uuugh
Finnnneeeee

and turn them back into REGULAR humans

what do you mean

just like how they were before
not
i don’t know
half-pig men
or a thousand years old
or with no arms
just the same, normal people

haha oh my god
what do you even think i am
i would never do that

Circe
you own an entire island of badgermen

you don’t know that island wasn’t already like that when I got here

was it like
was it full of half-men half-badgers?

i don’t have to answer that question
it was full of a lot of things when i got here
anyhow shut up
i fixed your stupid friends
who by the way are stupid and boring

CIRCE

im kidddddding godddd

Download this excerpt as a PDF

CIRCE

hi Odysseus
what are you doing for dinner tonight

Circe.

what
oh my god whatttt

Circe

stop it with my name
i don’t know what you’re mad about
are you mad

Circe I’m not coming over for dinner

whyyyyy

you know why

no i don’t
I’m a witch
not a
not the captain of knowing why of things

what are all those pigs doing outside your house

I don’t know
whatever pigs do
truffle-hunting

Circe

i think the technical term is mycophagy
but I’m not 100% on that

where did the pigs come from Circe

i don’t know
a pig farm
a pig mommy and a pig daddy who loved each other very much
and gave each other a special handshake

CIRCE

oh my god okay fine
they’re your crew, you got me
i turned all of your friends into pigs

why did you turn my friends into pigs

i don’t know
maybe the real question is
why are your friends
so turn-into-pigsable

turn them back into humans

will you come over for dinner if i turn them back into humans

turn them back into humans first and we’ll talk

uuugh
Finnnneeeee

and turn them back into REGULAR humans

what do you mean

just like how they were before
not
i don’t know
half-pig men
or a thousand years old
or with no arms
just the same, normal people

haha oh my god
what do you even think i am
i would never do that

Circe
you own an entire island of badgermen

you don’t know that island wasn’t already like that when I got here

was it like
was it full of half-men half-badgers?

i don’t have to answer that question
it was full of a lot of things when i got here
anyhow shut up
i fixed your stupid friends
who by the way are stupid and boring

CIRCE

im kidddddding godddd

Mallory Ortberg

Mallory Ortberg is the co-creator of The Toast, a general-interest website geared toward women. She has written for Gawker, New York Magazine, The Hairpin, and The Atlantic.

Mallory Ortberg

Mallory Ortberg is the co-creator of The Toast, a general-interest website geared toward women. She has written for Gawker, New York Magazine, The Hairpin, and The Atlantic. She lives in the Bay Area.

Mallory Ortberg Discusses
Texts From Jane Eyre

Mallory Ortberg's Favorite Characters From
Texts From Jane Eyre

Mallory Ortberg Discusses Texts From Jane Eyre

Mallory Ortberg's Favorite Characters From Texts From Jane Eyre

Texts from Jane Eyre started as a popular web feature on The Hairpin and plays with the characterization of beloved literary figures. Where did the idea come from?

This is something I can actually trace exactly to its starting point! Nicole Cliffe—my current business partner—had written a “Classic Trash” review of Gone with the Wind on The Awl, and someone in the comments mentioned that life in her small Southern town was still pretty much the same as in Mitchell's book, "only now we all have cell phones." And the idea of Scarlett O'Hara—who is so selfish and sneaky and prone to lying and manipulation—with a cell phone was so vivid to me I came up with the idea on the spot. 

What was your writing process in bringing these imagined conversations to life?

Oh man, I don't know that I have much in the way of a process. Most of the work lay in figuring out which character/author/book to write about, and then once I'd landed on some aspect of their characterization (Emily Dickinson being a wild-eyed hermit, Edward Rochester being an all-caps sort of guy) it was just a matter of writing down the conversations as fast as I could. 

How did your English degree inform your choice of which authors and characters to include? Were there any works you had to revisit?

Oh, sure. I went to a fairly traditional school in the sense that English Lit majors read mostly the standard Western canon, so I had almost all of these books lying around and could leaf through them whenever I needed a refresher. The canon is just brimming with so many wonderful, selfish assholes. It was just a matter of choosing a new one for each entry.  

If you could personally text with any literary character, who would you choose and why? What would you ask?

Oh, Lord. I think maybe Phileas Fogg or Captain Nemo—I'm such a Verne fan and all of his protagonists were such absurdly rigid, humorless, larger-than-life dudes that I think I'd have a lot of fun with it.

Texts from Jane Eyre started as a popular web feature on The Hairpin and plays with the characterization of beloved literary figures. Where did the idea come from?

This is something I can actually trace exactly to its starting point! Nicole Cliffe—my current business partner—had written a “Classic Trash” review of Gone with the Wind on The Awl, and someone in the comments mentioned that life in her small Southern town was still pretty much the same as in Mitchell's book, "only now we all have cell phones." And the idea of Scarlett O'Hara—who is so selfish and sneaky and prone to lying and manipulation—with a cell phone was so vivid to me I came up with the idea on the spot. 

Q. What was your writing process in bringing these imagined conversations to life?

Oh man, I don't know that I have much in the way of a process. Most of the work lay in figuring out which character/author/book to write about, and then once I'd landed on some aspect of their characterization (Emily Dickinson being a wild-eyed hermit, Edward Rochester being an all-caps sort of guy) it was just a matter of writing down the conversations as fast as I could. 

How did your English degree inform your choice of which authors and characters to include? Were there any works you had to revisit?

Oh, sure. I went to a fairly traditional school in the sense that English Lit majors read mostly the standard Western canon, so I had almost all of these books lying around and could leaf through them whenever I needed a refresher. The canon is just brimming with so many wonderful, selfish assholes. It was just a matter of choosing a new one for each entry.  

If you could personally text with any literary character, who would you choose and why? What would you ask?

Oh, Lord. I think maybe Phileas Fogg or Captain Nemo—I'm such a Verne fan and all of his protagonists were such absurdly rigid, humorless, larger-than-life dudes that I think I'd have a lot of fun with it.

Buy the Book

Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg  Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg  Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg  Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg

Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg  Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg  Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg  Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg