Zelda, aka Jennifer Harlan, did not come into her Southernness easily. Although she has lived below the Mason-Dixon line since the age of 7, it wasn’t until venturing to Rhode Island for college that she came to realize that Louisville, and Memphis before it, had infused her with a definite touch of Dixie. Jennifer has also lived in California, Kansas, and Paris (France, not Kentucky). She has lived in New York since September 2013, although she still has trouble calling it home.
Jennifer’s Southern roots run as deep as the cypress roots of the Louisiana bayou, where one-quarter of her family hails from. Her grandfather was a full-blooded Cajun, whipping up post-Thanksgiving turkey gumbo (a tradition her father now carries on) and singing gospel in his booming baritone. Then there’s her grandmother, on her mama’s side, who grew up in Atlanta. She stood on the sidewalk of Peachtree Street while Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh rolled by on their way to the Gone with the Wind premiere, and, in her greyer years, she would proudly sport a sweatshirt touting “G.R.I.T.S. (Girls Raised In The South).
Jennifer is a journalist by day, and often by night. She has also dabbled in coffee making, cake baking, and teaching small French children to speak English. She has made it her life’s mission to scour New York City for a true mint julep and decent macaroni and cheese. As a former European expat, and now a northeastern American one, she often finds herself struggling with the question of home. It’s a tricky word — home — and Zelda & Scout is her attempt to figure out just what it means.