Before there was Bridget Jones, decades before Chicklit entered our lexicon, Rona Jaffe blazed the litery way to modern urban females mixing professional ambitions with romantic shenanigans.
Ms. Jaffe, who died December 30, 2005, while on vacation in London, wrote of what she knew. A Radcliffe graduate at 19, she was approached six years later by Hollywood to write a movie tie-in reverse. Her instructions: write a "guilty plesaure" book to rival Kitty Foyle: The Natural History of a Woman, a Ginger Rogers blockbuster for which Rogers won an Oscar in 1941. Jaffe promptly penned The Best of Everything (1958 -- will be ordered January 15, 2006) and, within six months, she was at the top of the New Times Bestseller, list. The movie came out in 1959, starring Hope Lange, Joan Crawford, and Diane Baker.