She is the best-selling writer who is on a crusade to win more power and respect for the women who pen ‘chick- lit’.But after selling millions of books around the world and having her work immortalised on the big screen, Jennifer Weiner quite readily admits that she feels ‘disappointed’ by Girls star Lena Dunham - and her lack of support for popular female fiction.
Best-seller: Jennifer Weiner is a champion of women's fiction - but says she is 'disappointed' by Lena Dunham.
So much so that Jennifer, 43, reveals: ‘I’ve never seen Girls and I’m like ‘You know what, you’re having this moment, where everyone is writing about you, everyone is taking your picture and asking you questions.‘And instead of using this moment to champion things you love - you’re using it to trash other women’s work and I’ve got no time for you.’When asked by the New York Times last year ‘Have you ever read a book about girls or women that made you angry or disappointed or just extremely annoyed?’, Lena, 26, replied: ‘I don’t have a taste for airport chick-lit, even in a guilty-pleasure way.
‘Any book that is motored by the search for a husband and/or a good pair of heels makes me want to move to the outback. If there is a cartoon woman’s torso on the front or a stroller with a diamond on it, I just can’t.’And speaking to MailOnline, Jennifer – whose paperback version of her hit The Next Best Thing is out now – said she felt that she had even helped in ‘some teeny, tiny way’ to bring Girls to the small screen with the huge success of her debut novel Good In Bed, which follows a somewhat overweight young journalist through her troubled love life.‘The inside baseball detail of all of this is that a million years ago, HBO optioned Good In Bed and so the kind of book that Lena’s turning up her nose at, is perhaps, in a tiny, tiny way, one of the things that got the people at HBO thinking, in a different way, about different sized protagonists,’ revealed Jennifer.‘Sue Naegle, who’s the head of HBO, was the agent of Jenny Bicks, who was adapting Good In Bed for HBO.
‘Sue read Good in Bed, she was a champion of it, now she’s the one who’s running HBO and Lena Dunham is doing this show and she’s like ‘Oh, airport chick-lit’ – and I’m sure she has just no clue that these books that she’s reviled may have in some teeny, tiny way made her show possible and I think it’s tacky.
‘If you have a chance to say something, why not say something supportive.’The brunette mother-of-two, who hails from Philadelphia, added: ‘She’s young, part of me wants to give her a pass, God knows I probably said stupid things when I was 26, but I was disappointed, I was bummed.’While admitting that she’s not exactly Lena’s demographic , Jennifer laughed: ‘I don’t think my little viewership is going to get the show cancelled!
Young star: Lena Dunham has been praised for Girls - but should be more supportive of women, according to top selling writer Jennifer Weiner.
'Women were very generous with me when my first book came back and I always want to be generous and supportive... We jump through hoops that men still don’t have to jump through'However, she insisted: ‘With someone like Lena, I feel like I’m such a supporter and fan of women literary writers and women comics, I would have been out there carrying a poster for Lena’s show if she hadn’t said that stupid thing.’‘Women were very generous with me when my first book came back and I always want to be generous and supportive. We jump through hoops that men still don’t have to jump through. I always want to support other women.‘If you’re going to complain about some genre of writing or some particular writer, think for a minute about how much harder every single women who’s been published had it than some guy, even someone whose work you thinks sucks. ‘And maybe if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all!’Jennifer’s success has seen another of her novels, In Her Shoes, take to the big screen with Toni Collette and Cameron Diaz starring as sisters – and all her other books have been ‘optioned’ by movie studios.However, it was an ill-fated stint in Hollywood while producing her recent series, State of Georgia, starring Raven Symoné, that prompted Jennifer to write her latest novel, The Next Best Thing.
A novel idea: Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette star in the big screen adaption of Jennifer Weiner's hit book, In Her Shoes.
Her protagonist Ruth Saunders is a talented screenwriter who heads to Hollywood with her grandmother in tow – only to see her debut show canned and her dreams fade away.Not so coincidentally, Ruth’s show stars an overweight actress who turns up on set after losing monumental amount of weight just before filming – which mirrors real life and Raven’s own surprising 70 pound weight loss.And Jennifer admits her Hollywood experience ‘wasn’t brilliant, it wasn’t perfect…it was heartbreaking in a lot of ways, but I’m really, really glad it happened and I think if I ever have chance to do TV again I’ll go in knowing a lot more and knowing when to compromise.’
Box office hit: Toni Collette and Cameron Diaz star as sisters in 2005 movie, In Her Shoes, alongside Shirley MacLaine as their grandmother.
The ABC Family series was meant to follow a young hopeful who dreams of making it big on Broadway and Jennifer said: ‘I wanted a bigger girl, a plus size girl, I ended up with Raven.‘She’d lost a lot of weight and I didn’t find that out until literally the night before we were due to start shooting the pilot‘They kept saying ‘she’s travelling, she’s busy’ - I kept saying ‘I just want to have coffee with her, I just want to see her!’ because I’d heard that she’d gotten thin.‘When I saw her, she was not that thin yet, but by the end of shooting the show she was that thin and the truly maddening part was I kept saying ‘Guys, she’s tiny’ and they were saying ‘oh she’s not!’.
Hollywood hit: Jennifer Weiner based her new book, The Next Thing, on her time in Hollywood.
They kept saying ‘ You're looking at her with Philadelphia eyes and she might be Philadelphia skinny but she’s not Hollywood skinny! Which is so wrong on so many levels!’Jennifer never spoke to Raven - saying that she never wants to have a conversation with any woman about her weight.‘It was tough for Raven’, admitted Jennifer, ‘She lost all this weight, she wasn’t that girl anymore and didn’t want to be that girl – she didn’t want to be That’s So Raven anymore, she wanted to be an adult, she wanted to play a different kind of character, it was just a bad fit.’And despite the series being axed, Jennifer said: ‘Maybe the next woman who comes along and pitches a show and says 'I want it to be a bigger girl and I want her to find her happy ending and not have to get thin', maybe that will work.’Jennifer has made it no secret that she’s appalled by the huge gulf that divides men and women writers and is on a bid to challenge that, insisting: ‘There’s a certain kind of anxiety goes comes with being a women writer, but especially literary fiction.‘If you’re a guy and you went to the right college, you did the right writers’s programme, you’re published in the right places and you publish a novel, people’s default assumption is this is a book that has value.
‘If you’re a woman and you did all that, that assumption is not always there. And a lot of women feel it necessary to trash other women’s work and it’s unfortunate and depressing.’Spearheading support for women, Jennifer says, came naturally, adding: ‘What writer wouldn’t have noticed that by the way it’s the same five white guys sucking all the air out of every room while women’s books don’t get written about enough or don’t get written about at all.'You would have to be living in a David Blaine cube not to notice that. And it’s crazy to me that not more people talk about it.‘When I started talking about it, it was very surprising to me to be a bit of a lone voice in the wilderness..
Reunited: Lena Dunham and Adam Driver back on set of HBO's Girls as they film season 3 in Brooklyn this week
Massive weight loss: Former child star Raven Symoné stunned cast and crew when she turned up on the set of State of Georgia after losing 70 pounds before filming.
‘Women read more fiction and women publish more novels. In the April 29th issue the New Yorker did not have a single femail byline, not fiction, non-fiction, reviews or reported pieces. It’s like ‘what is going on here? How is this okay?’Mother to Lucy, nine, and Phoebe, five, Jennifer said: ‘If my daughters are going to be authors, I don’t want them to have to jump through the hoops women authors have to go through today.‘I hope it’s going to change, I believe it will.’
Thin: Raven Symoné and Majandra Delfino in ABC Family's State of Georgia. Raven turned up on set after losing 70 pounds.
- 2013/05/04(土) 10:26:45|