All publicity is good publicity when you’re a pop culture novelist drumming up buzz for your 8th book, like Candace Bushnell is now doing with “Killing Monica”, but still….
The Daily News gave her three full pages, including the cover of its Sunday entertainment section, but writer Joe Dziemianowicz threw a few daggers her way. He suggests the book’s plot belittles a character based on Sarah Jessica Parker, who starred in the HBO series and two movies developed from Bushnell’s “Sex and The City”. He also suggests that an unflattering portrait of a philandering husband seems inspired by the author’s ex-spouse, Charles Askegard.
Candace coyly denies the connections. People who write roman à clef novels always do.
The article then says, “Bushnell’s New York apartment looks unlived-in. Not a single book rests on the clean white shelves. Not a thing is on the oversized coffee table. No knickknacks. Just a lonely green cigarette lighter on the window ledge. It looks like an airy set for a witty urban comedy–but one which the props people forgot to dress.”
Ouch. Say what you will about Ms. Bushnell’s characters, Sir, but you were not invited here to trash the décor.
Nor what Dziemianowicz calls her “prickly divorce” and her “curdled marriage”. He states, “The end of her marriage to Askegard, a former principal dancer for New York City Ballet, was ugly. In an unusual move, Bushnell named ballerina Georgina Pascoguin as a co-respondent in her divorce proceedings.”
According to the article, “Bushnell pooh-poohs that she mined her own life” and says she exaggerated the creepiness of the “skirt-chasing” character resembling Askegard “for dramatic effect.”
Why did the Daily News get so personal with Miss Bushnell? Surely it has nothing to do with the fact that in her original Sex and The City columns, published long ago in The Observer, she described Mort Zuckerman, longtime owner of The News, as a “toxic bachelor.” Surely not.
What goes around comes around–but 20 years later? Some people have long memories.
ORB SAYS: It’s all good if it sells books.