Monday, April 07, 2014

F for Helen Fielding


Born 1958

F brings out another woman - Fielding, Helen, of Bridget Jones fame. A self confessed Austen fan Helen says she picked inspiration from her books. I mentioned it here while talking about Austen. Fielding gave chick-lit a whole new dimension. Rather than looking at pure romance she tackled a thousand other issues that plague single women.

Early days

Fielding studied English before she started working with the BBC as a researcher. While at the BBC she travelled to Sudan and then wrote and produced documentaries in Africa for fundraising broadcasts. That’s where the idea for her first book Cause Celeb came from. The book was praised but made little money. Meanwhile, Helen turned journalist and wrote columns for various newspapers even as she struggled to work on her second book. Bridget Jones's Diary brought her instant fame and was followed by a sequel, Edge of Reason and then Bridget Jones - Mad about the Boy. She has done other books too including Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination.

The birth of Bridget

When she was asked by a London newspaper to do a column on her own life as a single woman she had no idea it would lead to Bridget Jones. She refused to do the column saying it would be too embarrassing, too personal. However, she did agree to write anonymously creating a fictional character in her 30s negotiating single life in London. The column became immensely popular. She was still trying to finish her second novel. However, her identity as the person behind the column was revealed and her publishers asked her to convert it into a book.

I love Bridget Jones's Diary because...


Bridget refuses to fit into any regular 'heroine' mould 
She's neither pretty and delicate nor strong and capable. She’s just funny and sweet and goofy and self deprecating. Just like me, is always struggling with weight troubles and (not quite like me) boyfriend troubles. She has a mother who refuses to leave her alone (mine doesn't either!) and friends who keep giving her all kinds of bizarre advice. Even better - in the end she finds a wonderful man who is good-looking, rich and above all loves her ‘Just as she is’. What's not to like? I’ve actually done loads of things that happen in the book like..
- Hitting the gym with a vengeance in anticipation of a big event.
- Or wallowing in self pity
- Or yelling out to my kids during a phone conversation with someone like a typical Smug married.

I love the diary format of the book
It makes the whole story-telling much more personal and Bridget can get away with saying a lot of hilariously embarrassing (sometimes downright gross) stuff because she's only talking to herself.

I love the vocabulary.. 
..that Fielding coined. Smug marrieds, Singletons and mentionistis.

I also recommend the movie, if you've not seen it already starring the amazing Rene Zellweger, a very delicious Colin Firth and a devilish Hugh Grant.
************

Tomorrow's author, ladies and gentlemen, isn't an easy one to guess. Here's the clue - she's a British lady who wrote historical romances with a dash of mystery and loads of wit. No googling please!

This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge, 2014 for the theme AMAZING AUTHORS.


Also linking to the Ultimate Blog Challenge.




48 comments:

  1. Ah, Another of my all time favorites, Tulika.

    Listen, just come over and live in my heart, okay?

    Hugs!

    Vidya

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  2. Hey, that's an interesting and innovative take on the author, Tulika. I admire the way she led her life on her own to carve her own niche and place in a word set by rules.
    Cheerz

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  3. Haven't read the book, but saw the movie Bridget Jones'....I like your choice of adjectives for the film-actors there by the way, especially the delicious Colin Firth. That's so apt...I like him very much :) This series is going so well, Tulika. And through your choice of authors we are also getting to know some things about you :)

    Beauty Interprets, Expresses, Manifests the Eternal

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    1. Lol... thanks Beloo and he is delicious, isn't he?

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  4. This is one of my favourite movies, primarily because of Colin Firth :P

    Loving the series, Tulika. Must check out the other books soon.

    *Shailaja*

    Introspection in Shades of 11

    A to Z Challenge, 2014/ UBC, April 2014

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  5. Again, an unexplored one for me !! Thanks :)

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  6. Another favorite of mine :O :O I am so happy to find someone with similar tastes!!

    ~S(t)ri
    Participant|AtoZ Challenge 2014
    Smile, it makes (y)our day!

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    1. Me too Srilakshmi..we must continue to share what we read.

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  7. Ye ye --- the delicious Colin Firth... :-) Have read one book and seen the films.. Too funny, at least the first one was hilarious... Lovely write-up:-)

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  8. Oh God I haven't read so many ...!! Have to have to read her now!

    Random Thoughts Naba

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    1. There.. I'm setting you homework for after the challenge.

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  9. I loved both the Bridget Jones' series and the books were so much better and more fulfilling than the movies. Thanks for this post :)

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  10. Haven't read any of her books but I have seen the movie Bridget Jones Diary. Enjoying your series Tulika.

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  11. Have seen the movie in bits and pieces and haven't read the book. Have added it in my TBR list and will be bought soon!! Love the way you are doing this series, Tulika!! ♥

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    1. You must do both Shilpa.. The books and the films.

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  12. The movie won an award didn't it? Must try n read this book... Great post.. looking forward for tmrw!

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    1. I think it got a nomination for Rene.

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  13. I usually don't go for Chiklits... my friends go crazy about Bridget Jones... seems I must too read it :)

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    1. Well some Chiklits are plain romantic drivel and some are sweet romances and some offer much more. I think it's not a good idea to club them all together and write them off. Do try one of these.

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  14. I've never read the book but have seen the movie. I love how the story came about, especially because she was so reluctant to write it at first. It is definitely relatable on many levels Reflex Reactions

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  15. You have quite a taste girl!!! Loving the series

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    1. heh heh thanks Shiva.. we just share the same loves.

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  16. Never read the book, but the movie was interesting! Love the way you write! :)

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  17. I loved the book...not the movie that much but I love the green scarf :)

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  18. I love the movie but haven't read the book. Will definitely pick it up soon!

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    1. You might like it Aditi despite having seen the film.

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  19. Really enjoyed the movie... Possibly because of Colin Firth! Haven't read the book though.

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  20. I have read both the book and the movie. First movie though and then book. Surprisingly found the movie better :D No offense to Fielding!

    Richa

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    1. Not at all... Like I said the characters were beautifully cast.

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  21. Haven't read the book, but I loved the movie and the sequel. :) I think many of us can relate to certain aspects of Bridget's character.

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    1. That's the best thing about her Debbie.

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  22. I loved the movies. Bridget is one lovable character! ♥

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    1. .. And so identifiable, isn't she?

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  23. I liked the heroine of the book too!! Quite regular if I may say so! :)

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    Replies
    1. She is. She's special because she's so regular.

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  24. I seem to have missed BJ-Mad about the boy. Must look it up.
    My main crib about the movie is Renee Zellweger as BJ. I imagine Drew Barrymore a better fit. But that's just me, I'm sure. Colin Firth is himself, adorable! :)

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  25. Love her and her quirky creation...:)

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