Saturday, April 24, 2010
Candace Bushnell, the Gal from New York
One of the best-selling chick-lit authors that are present in my personal library is Candace Bushnell. I’m a great book shopaholic, and I go to my favorite bookstore quite often. I’ve bought several books by this author by now, including Sex and the City, Four Blondes, Trading Up, Lipstick Jungle. I have already read the first three of them, and I am still to read Lipstick Jungle. Also, I didn’t buy two of her newest apparitions yet, One Fifth Avenue and The Carrie Diaries, but surely I will buy them as soon as I have the chance to do so.
The first book by Candace Bushnell I have ever read was Sex and the City. Before becoming a book, then an overly popular TV show, then an acclaimed movie, Sex and the City was a column written by Candace Bushnell in the New York Observer newspaper, just like Carrie Bradshaw’s column in the New York Star fictional paper in the TV show which aired in 1998-2004. If you go to the New York Observer online archive, you can still see some of the original columns written by Candace Bushnell back in the nineties. When I browsed the New York Observer online archive, I actually recognized some of those columns from Sex and the City the book. Candace Bushnell used to write her column about her and her friends’ dating experiences in the city of New York, which was the basic inspiration for Sex and the City the TV show, and which inspired the television characters Carrie Bradshaw, Miranda Hobbes, Samantha Jones and Charlotte York.
I have already read Sex and the City twice. It’s a hilarious and very sincere book, just like the other books written by this author. What I like the most about Candace Bushnell’s books, is their sincerity. She is not afraid to call a spade a spade, and she calls things by their names. The way sex life of people in New York is dissected in this book is sharp and outrageous. Bushnell discusses every single aspect of one’s sex life with a great deal of honesty, which makes this book so hilarious. The fuck word is commonly used in Candace Bushnell’s books. If people in New York and elsewhere use this word on a common basis (although more sensible people, like Charlotte York, prefer the more discreet “the F word” expression), why wouldn’t this word appear in the same way in a book about people in New York?
The book was ultimately the inspiration for the first season of the TV show, with characters and situations from the book which were adapted for the show, although there are many differences between the two. Carrie Bradshaw, Miranda Hobbes, Samantha Jones and Charlotte York from the book are totally different from those in the show. The closest resemblance is in Carrie’s case, who is a columnist both in the book and in the show. Meanwhile, Miranda is a cable executive in the book, but a lawyer in the series; Samantha is a movie producer in the book, but a PR manager in the TV series; Charlotte is an English journalist in the book, but an American WASP in the TV show. Also, the television series stresses out the friendship of the 4 women more than the book does.
The show begins almost the same way as the book – an English journalist comes to New York, meets an eligible bachelor, dates him for several weeks, sees a house with him, and then never hears from him again. But in the book, as opposed to the show, Charlotte York is the English journalist left out by the lying bachelor.
There are also other characters from the book translated into the series, and some of them are adapted differently as well. There is Skipper Johnson, a guy who hangs out in the book, but who is one of Miranda’s boyfriends in the show. The gay Stanford Blatch, screen writer in the book, agent in the show. Barkley, the modelizer. The Bone, the beautiful male model. Amalita Amalfi, the international prostitute. Mr. Marvelous, one of Mr. Big’s friends. And of course, Mr. Big himself.
Quite a few stories from the book are translated into the first season of the TV show. There is the relationship between Carrie and Big. There is the story of the women who have sex like men. There is the story about modelizers. There is the story about the so-called “high-class” hookers, who call themselves “international girlfriends” -- women who don't want to work and seek rich men who would pay for their rent. There is the Secret Sex story. There is the Threesome story. There is the story of Stanford Blatch “proposing” to a straight woman for a convenient social life. There is the Baby Shower story. And last but not least, the story of Carrie and Big’s break up.
What’s next? The upcoming sequel movie Sex and the City-2, from May 2010; then possibly another sequel movie Sex and the City-3, in the near future. And of course, The Carrie Diaries book (already on the market), which focuses on Carrie Bradshaw’s teen years. Looking forward to seeing and reading them all.