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Candace Bushnell

November 9 , 2009

Candace Bushnell
Author, Sex and the City, Lipstick Jungle

Candace Bushnell is the critically acclaimed, international best-selling novelist whose first book, Sex and the City, published in 1996, was the basis for the HBO hit series. Bushnell captured the country’s attention with Sex and the City by breaking down the bedroom doors of New York City’s rich and beautiful to expose true contemporary stories of sex, love and relationships. The book introduced the nation to “modelizers,” “toxic bachelors” and the women who are looking for Mr. Big as they glide in and out of a star-studded social scene.

In Four Blondes (2000) Bushnell gives readers another uncensored look into the mating ritu­als of the Manhattan elite. In each of the book’s four link novellas, Bushnell uses wry humor and frank portrayals of love and lust to deliver four clever, hilarious and socially relevant portraits of women in New York City. Four Blondes was a critical and commercial hit. And the successes of Sex and the City and Four Blondes created high demand for a new genre of fiction; the chick-lit phenomenon had begun.

Bushnell’s third novel, Trading Up (2003) is a wickedly funny social satire about a linge­rie model whose reach exceeds her grasp and whose new-found success has gone to her head. The book takes place in the months leading up to 9/11, and portrays an era of wearily decadent society in New York. A sharply observant, keenly funny comedy of manners is Bushnell at her most sassy and entertaining; this novel caused The New York Times to call Bushnell “the philosopher queen of the social scene.” A movie of Trading Up is currently in production at Lifetime Television.

In Lipstick Jungle (2005), her fourth novel, Bushnell explores assumptions about gender roles in family and career. The book follows three high-powered friends as they weather the ups and downs of lives lived at the top of their game. Salon called Bushnell’s work “ahead of the curve.” Once again, with Lipstick Jungle, Bushnell captured the paradigm of a new breed of career woman facing modern challenges and choices. Lipstick Jungle became the basis for the popular drama on NBC, currently in its second season, and starring Brooke Shields, Kim Raver, Lindsay Price and Andrew McCarthy. Bushnell serves as an executive producer on the show.

Bushnell’s new novel, One Fifth Avenue, is a modern-day story of old and new money, the always combustible mix that Edith Wharton mastered in her novels about New York’s Gild­ed Age and that F. Scott Fitzgerald illuminated in his Jazz Age tales. Bushnell’s New Yorkers suffer the same passions as those fictional Manhattanites from eras past: thirst for power, for social prominence and for marriages that are successful—at least to the public eye. “Here are bloggers and bullies, misfits and misanthropes, dear hearts and black hearts, dogfights and catty squalls spun into a darkly humorous chick-lit saga,” says Publisher’s Weekly.

From Sex and the City through her four successive novels, Bushnell has revealed a gift for tapping into the zeitgeist of any New York minute. With each book, she has deepened her range, but with a light touch that makes her complex literary accomplishments look easy. The Guardian sums up Bushnell’s work this way: “She caustically addresses the conditions of materialism, cramped urban life and metropolitan speed, where fame and wealth are all around, but never in one’s grasp…Bushnell is courageous in bringing this to the fore and she is blessed with an Austen-like mastery in doing so. She cuts through the lies that women tell themselves about the surface equality of Western society. Ass such, she has more in common with Edith Wharton, Dorothy Parker and early Bret Easton Ellis.”

Through her books and television series, Bushnell’s work has influenced and defined two generations of women. She is the winner of the 2006 Matrix award for books (other winners include Joan Didion and Amy Tan), and a recipient of the Albert Einstein Spirit of Achieve­ment Award. Bushnell grew up in Connecticut and attended Rice and New York Universi­ties. She currently resides in Manhattan.

 

 

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