Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
The Godmother of Chick-Lit Returns
from The Daily Beast
Francine Pascal gave us Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, the pert, blond, miniskirted stars of Sweet Valley High, which burned up bestseller lists in the 1980s—the first teen fiction to appear on The New York Times paperback bestsellers list, alongside John Updike and Norman Mailer. Pretty, popular, with perfect California tans, the identical twins were the Carrie Bradshaws of their day—"the most adorable, dazzling 16-year-old girls imaginable," as Pascal once described them—wearing the best clothes, dating the most popular guys, and always on the verge of losing their virginity... but somehow remaining chaste.
Swimming against the cultural currents, 73-year-old Pascal is back with Sweet Valley Confidential, the first new book in seven years. Jessica Bennett talks to the author about Elizabeth and Jessica, who are all grown up and yes, actually have sex and use Facebook now.