Thursday, 22 October 2009

Expose Lit

Expose Lit are novels which gives us an insight into an industry which is based on the author's experience. 
Ondo Lady, 2009
We have Chick Lit, Lad Lit and Chick Noir but over the years we have witnessed the growth of Expose Lit. It is rather akin to roman a clef which is a depiction of real life experiences without revealing the sources, however Expose Lit has a variety of characteristics. It features a small town rookie who moves to the big city in order to persue their dreams, lands an entry level position in sexy glam industry and has a tyranic larger then live boss who is extremely demanding as well as back stabbing colleague. The dilenma of the story features whether or not the protagonist will go over to the dark side in order to get what they want. It was the release of The Nanny Diaries in 2002 that set the trend in the genre with the book being a huge success on both sides of the pond. Then a year later another book would send Expose Lit exploding into the mainstream media. The Devil Wears Prada caught the imagination of readers in the literary world in the story about a young upstart who lands a role as as assistant for a demanding editor. Since then everyone has become intruiged about the goings on in glam industries such as book publishing, PR, magazines, music, film and TV. Every so keen to meet demand, the book publishers have been releasing titles after titles to satisfy readers. A lot of these books have gone on to become successful films ie The Nanny Diaries, The Devil Wears Prada and The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing (which was renamed Surburban Girl.) The others remain great pieces of fiction.
Here are my top Expose Lit books. 

Spin by Robert Rave
Robert Rave worked in PR as an assistant for Lizzie Grubman. This book is a fantastic and riveting read with great writers and characters. There are rumours that Spin is to be made into a movie with Zac Efron playing the lead. 

Pop Tart by Kira Coplin and Julianne Kaye
This is the tale of Jackie O'Reilly, a make up artist who befriends teen pop star, Brooke Parker. Kira Coplin has written for US Weekly and now works as filmmaker in LA and Julianne Kaye is a very successful make up artists who has worked for many artists such as Britney Spears; so they really know what they are talking about. Great book and a fantastic insight into the music machine. 

Schooled by Anisha Lakhani
This book is basically the real Gossip Girl and exposes the deception and corruption that goes on in posh private schools in New York. Anna Taggart starts a new job as a teacher at Langdon Hall with all the best intentions of nurturing her students but finds herself sliding down the slippery pole of backhanders and designer gifts. A fantastic read.

The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

Not read this book but 10 out of 10 for pioneering the whole expose lit thing. Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Krause both worked as nannies in New York so this book was really their memoirs. The Nanny Diaries was released in 2002 and gained No 1 on the New York Times Best Seller list. A film was released in 2007 staring Scarlett Johanason but sadly it was a flop. 

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger 
The ultimate Expose Lit which tells the story of Andrea Sachs, a midwestern girl who moves to the Big Apple in order to become a journalist for the New Yorker. Strangely enough she finds herself at the biggest magazine on earth and working for a boss with the biggest ego. Lauren Weisberger was an assistant at Vogue for Anna Wintour. The book was published in 2003 and was adapted into hugely successful film in 2006. My verdict is great film but shame about the book. The characters here are lacklustre and the narrative really drags. 

Twin of Tribeca by Rachel Pine
Just started reading this and so far so good. Karen Jacobs is a junior publicist at Glorious Pictures where she is treated like crap. The company is owned by the Waxman Brothers who run the company with an iron fist. Rachel Pine worked as a publicist at Miramax which is owned by the Weinstein brothers so knows all about the Hollywood machine. 

Because She Can by Bridie Clark
Clare Truman is offered a job as an editor with Vivian Grant, one of the most formidable women in publishing. Sadly her dream job turns into a nightmare when her boss shows her true colours and begins showering her staff with relentless workload and mental and verbal abuse. Bridie Clark has worked in the book publishing industry for years and under hot shot publishing maverick, Judith Regan who this book is rumoured to be based on. Because She Can is a blatant attempt to cash in on the success of The Devil Wears Prada but it fails miserably. The story is weak and the characters are super bland.

So with a sequel to The Nanny Diaries aka The Nanny Returns, out in December it looks like the genre of Expose Lit is set to run and run.

2 cool comments:

Kwana said...

I've never heard the term expose lit. Only thought of it as Chick lit which I write but cool term. nice list.

5ft0 said...

Yes, I believe the film for "The Devil Wears Prada" surpasses the novel big time. It is my favourite book of all time - mainly because I can relate to Andy Sachs.

I like your blog by the way, keep it up =)