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The Nany Diaries

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More About This Book

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587242755
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 9/2/2002
  • Series: Wheeler Hardcover Series
  • Edition description: Large Print
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.82 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
Drawing on their own harrowing experience as nannies to NYC's pampered and powerful, Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus penned the breakout No. 1 New York Times bestseller The Nanny Diaries. Their latest irresistibly entertaining satire, Citizen Girl, takes aim at the working world.

Biography

When Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus met, they were both students at New York University and both working as part-time nannies for families on the Upper East Side. (Kraus was a native of the city; McLaughlin was from upstate New York.)

They didn't dream then that the shared experience that cemented their friendship would lead to fame and fortune as the authors of The Nanny Diaries, a fictional account of their years working in childcare.

"We wrote it for ourselves, really," McLaughlin told a reporter from The Washington Post. "We wrote it to share with our parents and our close friends. And we wrote it to see if we could."

The result was a scathing portrait of emotionally unavailable parents who obsess over private school admissions but coolly deflect the kids' hands when they come in search of a hug. The New York Times' Janet Maslin called it "perfectly pitched social satire."

And it struck a nerve with readers -- not only in New York City, but across the country and around the world. More than 2 million copies have been printed, and rights to the book were purchased in 32 countries.

"It was unbelievable to us," Kraus said in an interview with Rocky Mountain News. "I don't think we ever wrapped our heads around it."

At the age of 28, the two were celebrity writers, able to devote themselves full-time to the task of co-authoring another novel. First, though, there were some hurdles to clear: their publishers at St. Martin's Press didn't want their second book, so a new agent got them a two-book deal at Random House. But the deal fizzled, and their much-publicized $2 million advance was rescinded.

Finally, they landed at Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, which published Citizen Girl, another satirical take on a young New Yorker's travails in the work world -- this time, a woman in her twenties who is fired from her feminist nonprofit and lands a new job at a dot-com.

"We set out to write something we had not come across," McLaughlin told Rocky Mountain News. "And we had not come across a book that takes a young woman through a professional odyssey, where the odyssey is 99 percent of the experience and her sex life is 1 percent of it."

The phenomenally successful Nanny Diaries was a tough act to follow, and some critics found the new book disappointing. USA Today suggested that the authorial duo might be a "one-hit wonder."

But other reviewers were positively buoyant about Citizen Girl and the way its heroine struggles to hang onto her integrity, self-respect and feminism in a world of "Girls Gone Wild."

"Thank God for Citizen Girl," wrote Sacha Zimmerman in The New Republic. "Girl is a self-possessed, moral, intelligent, and open feminist who is not a militant-chic refugee from Lilith Fair or an NPR-tote-bag carrying blue-stater in a hemp dress. She isn't a loveable oaf like Bridget Jones who only obsesses over weight and boys and little else. McLaughlin and Kraus pull it off because they are so wry and so spot on."

McLaughlin and Kraus insist they aren't joined at the hip -- but they are good partners, and fans can expect their partnership to continue. "With any luck," wrote Emily Gordon for Newsday, "even if their next collaboration is a book about the pitfalls of creating a sane but beautiful wedding, the trials of loft buying or the stresses of professional pregnancy, they'll do it with panache."

Good To Know

A few fun outtakes from our interview with McLaughlin and Kraus:

"We love our dogs."

"We can't write something we don't feel passionate about -- we tried, it doesn't work."

"Eddie Izzard's comedy show, Dressed to Kill, is our crack. Whenever the writing gets too stuck, we take a breather and fire him up."

"While we spend an inordinate amount of time together and it may frequently feel like we are, we are actually not a) living together, b) married to each other, or c) otherwise joined at the hip. Luckily, our own homes and lives allow us a few moments of daily rest to restore and revive before we head back into the writing cave."

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., Gallatin School of Individualized Study, NYU (McLaughlin, 1996; Kraus, 1995)

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