E. Jean Carroll has been a monthly contributor to Elle Magazine for almost 25 years, making her the longest running advice columnist in history. She lives alone on a small island in the woods of upstate New York.  This short video profile gives us a glimpse of a pure original whose carved out a completely original life, in the mainstream, yet completely OUT. (Video link here.)

You go to the woods to find out who you are and you find out who you are and you are happier than when you came.


Twenty-five years writing an advice column has given her a unique perspective on we humans:

The questions have remained the same. They want love. They want to be a size six. They want their children to do well. They want to have a purpose in life. They want those same things and that has never changed.

The answer is in their question. You just find out what they want to do, and then you tell them to do it.


ELLE Magazine

And then there is her remarkable decor, from windows painted with stripes and striped clapboard, to a polka dot chimney and signs like:

For such a small price, I buy tranquillity — Epictetus


Hold your nerve. Pursue your radical options to the bitter END!


ELLE Magazine

We especially love her shed, painted with the names of books “that most influenced me growing up”, and the array of rocks and trees around her stream painted blue…the FOREST painted blue!…mirrors hanging from trees…

And at the very end, she tells the best piece of advice she’s ever given.


We googled E. Jean and found our selves wondering how the women whose picture we found…

…became the woman in the video…

ELLE Magazine

We found some of the story here.

Thanks Mira!

If you’ve found illumination, joy, or inspiration in this post, please consider supporting Improvised Life. It only takes a minute to make a secure donation that helps pay our many costs. A little goes a long way towards helping Improvised Life continue to live ad-free in the world.

Support Improvised Life ♥

One thought on “E. Jean on Life, Decor, and The Best Piece of Advice She’s Ever Given

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *