Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Meeting bestselling author Sophie Kinsella

Confessions of a Shopaholic- Fact or Fiction?

I just got home from the West coast about 2Am last night. At 8:30 am, EST, I was in my corporate cubicle, plucking away at my keyboard like a little corporate hamster, still, at least mentally, on Pacific Time. But even though I  was beyond  exhaustion, I somehow managed to drag myself out after work to enjoy a glass of Sauvignon Blanc with a friend  and meet my favorite author Sophie Kinsella, writer of the famous chick-lit  Shopaholic series .
After four grueling years of Graduate school, I took a year off to recalibrate my life before I began to look for a job. When I began interviewing with prospective employers, they asked me how I had spent my time post-graduation.  I should have said that I trekked across Nepal or translated War and Peace into Urdu.  But I am a bad liar. So I was honest and admitted that I spent my summer traveling the North-eastern United States and reading “The Shopaholic Trilogy.” Needless to say, it took me a while before I landed a job.
Call it chick-lit, call it mind candy, but after four years of  reading  sociological theory, interning with the infirm and under-served, and talking  countless people off the ledge,  I  craved lightness and humor; something that would turn my charred brain into marshmallow fluff.
And along came Becky Bloomwood, the book’s modern- day Lucille Ball-like protagonist who finds herself in all sorts of preposterous predicaments, that makes the reader laugh out loud. Anyone who cannot say no to a darling dress, a stupendous sale or even a turn-of -the century tureen will love sharing Becky’s adventures of dodging her creditors and seeking a partner who will love her in spite of her credit score.
The fact that the fictional character’s antics ring a bell a bit too close to home, may be what endeared me to Becky in the first place.  Becky is a financial journalist, yet has a spending addiction.  I spent five years as an addiction counselor, yet cannot seem to stop spending myself.  I, like Becky, have gone to extremes to buy that perfect “necessary” item of clothing, whether it is borrowing money, rolling spare change or scotch-taping back together that credit card I put through the paper-shredder.  Dissimilarly, however, I did not marry one of the richest men in my city or find a more lucrative career as a TV talk-show host. Nor am I able to accept loans from my millionaire best-friend (mainly because I don’t have a millionaire best friend).  And when I close the book’s cover, my credit problems are not finished. I know fact from fiction. But life gets rough, life gets tough and we all need some escapism. Kinsella’s books provide just that. No wonder her latest addition to the series; Mini-Shopaholic is number one on the UK hardcover best seller list.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I loved the Shopaholic books, so I'll definitely have to give the new one a read too.