A Moment of Jen
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Monday, September 15, 2008
posted by Jen at 9/15/2008 09:10:00 PM

The editors of The New York Times Book Review set out to list the funniest novels ever and couldn't come up with a single title by a woman.

That's hilarious.

These days, much of the funny-lady stuff is in the non-fiction aisle: Chelsea Handler's MY HORIZONTAL LIFE, Jen Lancaster's BITTER IS THE NEW BLACK, even Katha Pollitt, whose story of cyberstalking her ex in LEARNING TO DRIVE was both, as they say, hilarious and heartbreaking.

And, of course, there's Fran Lebowitz, who doesn't exactly write fiction (or, sadly, much of anything these days), but should be remembered, always, for her categories of people who should not exist ("You Are A Poet and You Are Not Dead.")

There are plenty of women-written, women-centered books that I love that have funny/sharp observations (everything by Susan Isaacs), or funny/zippy dialogue, or funny set pieces in novels dealing with serious topics (there's a great date-gone-wrong in Anna Maxted's GETTING OVER IT, and some very funny defloration/sex-with-hippies scenes in Lisa Alther's KINFLICKS), or funny narrators (Izzy Spellman in "The Spellman Files," Isadora Wing in "Fear of Flying.")

My nominees? BRIDGET JONES' DIARY (I honestly did LOL, at the scene where Bridget pees in the museum installation), Nora Ephron's HEARTBURN, Gail Parent's SHEILA LEVINE IS DEAD AND LIVING IN NEW YORK and -- shout-out to all the other parents of five-year-olds! -- Barbara Parks' Junie B. Jones books, which are very funny indeed.

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