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5 June 1980
Princess Daisy 
by Judith Krantz.
Sidgwick, 464 pp., £5.95, May 1980, 0 283 98647 6
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... To be a really lousy writer takes energy. The average novelist remains unread not because he is bad but because he is flat. On the evidence of Princess Daisy, JudithKrantz deserves her high place in the best-seller lists. This is the second time she has been up there. The first time was for a book called Scruples, which I will probably never get around to reading. But ...
2 June 1983
Porky 
by Deborah Moggach.
Cape, 236 pp., £7.95, May 1983, 0 224 02948 7
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The Banquet 
by Carolyn Slaughter.
Allen Lane, 191 pp., £6.95, May 1983, 0 7139 1574 9
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Binstead’s Safari 
by Rachel Ingalls.
Faber, 221 pp., £7.95, May 1983, 9780571130160
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In Good Faith 
by Edith Reveley.
Hodder, 267 pp., £7.95, May 1983, 0 340 32012 5
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Cousins 
by Monica Furlong.
Weidenfeld, 172 pp., £7.95, April 1983, 0 297 78231 2
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The Moons of Jupiter 
by Alice Munro.
Allen Lane, 233 pp., £7.95, April 1983, 0 7139 1549 8
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On the Stroll 
by Alix Kates Shulman.
Virago, 301 pp., £8.95, May 1983, 0 86068 364 8
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The Color Purple 
by Alice Walker.
Women’s Press, 244 pp., £3.95, March 1983, 0 7043 3905 6
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Mistral’s Daughter 
by Judith Krantz.
Sidgwick, 531 pp., £8.95, May 1983, 0 283 98987 4
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... life. These characters are benighted but truthful. Nevertheless, it is a one-sided view of woman’s lot; what used to be called man’s estate receives short shrift, or rather no shrift at all. JudithKrantz is an author new to me although I enjoyed the TV movie of Scruples. From the title I had supposed this to be about moral preoccupations of a Jamesian nature: in fact Scruples turned out to be ...

Travelling Southwards

Andrew O’Hagan: ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

19 July 2012
Fifty Shades of Grey 
by E.L. James.
Arrow, 514 pp., £7.99, April 2012, 978 0 09 957993 9
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... enduring aspect of 1980s sex novels was their obsession with new money. Time was when a romantic hero could be a soldier or a doctor or, heaven help us, a priest. But in the age of Jilly Cooper and JudithKrantz he had better be a polo player. Work is for pigs, and anyone without enough money to coat themselves in leisure had no place in a Krantz novel. There was something nouveau about the new ...

Convenience Killing

John Sutherland

7 April 1994
What’s Wrong with America 
by Scott Bradfield.
Picador, 196 pp., £14.99, January 1994, 0 330 32249 4
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The History of Luminous Motion 
by Scott Bradfield.
Picador, 196 pp., £5.99, January 1994, 0 330 33412 3
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Greetings from Earth 
by Scott Bradfield.
Picador, 296 pp., £5.99, January 1994, 0 330 32252 4
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... significant murders after reading The Alexandria Quartet and almost (but not quite) sublimates her homicidal instincts during her ‘Russian novel phase’. Before decaying brain cells reduce her to JudithKrantz Emma immerses herself in David Copperfield. The novel, as she informs her grandchildren and assorted genetic riff-raff, is loosely based on the author’s personal experiences working in a ...

Self-Made Women

John Sutherland

11 July 1991
The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present 
edited by Virginia Blain, Isobel Grundy and Patricia Clements.
Batsford, 1231 pp., £35, August 1990, 0 7134 5848 8
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The Presence of the Present: Topics of the Day in the Victorian Novel 
by Richard Altick.
Ohio State, 854 pp., $45, March 1991, 0 8142 0518 6
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... women and drug addiction, it might also get in on the ‘condition of women’ criterion. But Susann does not have an entry, nor is she mentioned in the Popular Fiction entry. Similarly excluded are JudithKrantz, Jean Auel, Danielle Steel, Jilly Cooper, Mary Higgins Clark, V.C. Andrews, Shirley Conran, Jackie Briskin, Rosemary Rogers. All these names have figured in recent best-seller lists, lists ...

Tacky Dress

Dale Peck

22 February 1996
Like People in History: A Gay American Epic 
by Felice Picano.
Viking, 512 pp., $23.95, July 1995, 0 670 86047 6
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How Long Has This Been Going On? 
by Ethan Mordden.
Villard, 590 pp., $25, April 1995, 0 679 41529 7
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The Facts of Life 
by Patrick Gale.
Flamingo, 511 pp., £15.99, June 1995, 0 602 24522 2
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Flesh and Blood 
by Michael Cunningham.
Hamish Hamilton, 480 pp., £14.99, June 1995, 9780241135150
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... At my high school, Daphne du Maurier was on the English department reading list, along with Taylor Caldwell and all those other books by Twain. I read Sydney Sheldon’s first five novels, JudithKrantz’s first three; until I went to college, I believed that Watership Down was the best book I’d ever read – and I was right. What attracted me then, though I didn’t realise it until years later ...

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