Harding, Robyn 1969(?)-

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HARDING, Robyn 1969(?)-

PERSONAL: Born c. 1969, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; adopted daughter of Robert and Margaret Harding; married; children: one son, one daughter.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Ballantine Books, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.

CAREER: Writer. Worked as an advertising executive for seven years.

WRITINGS:

The Journal of Mortifying Moments, Ballantine (New York, NY) 2004.

WORK IN PROGRESS: A novel about an unfulfilled stay-at-home mom.

SIDELIGHTS: Robyn Harding's first novel, The Journal of Mortifying Moments, is a humorous look at a thirty-one-year-old Seattle woman named Kerry Spence, who is trying to get over her ex-boyfriend. In an interview on the Chicklitbooks Web site, Harding noted: "Over the years I'd attempted to write deep, literary novels but I never got very far and they were never very good. When I decided to try my hand at humor and came up with the concept for The Journal of Mortifying Moments, it flowed much more smoothly." The "journal" in the novel's title comes from Kerry's therapist, who suggests that she keep a journal of her most mortifying moments as a way to come to terms with her unhappy professional and personal life. As it happens, Kerry's most mortifying moments almost exclusively deal with former lovers and boyfriends. In the meantime, Kerry must deal with her mother, who is into the New Age movement and tends to embarrass her daughter in public. Eventually, Kerry begins to mentor a troubled teenager named Tiffany. Through her relationship with Tiffany and the epiphanies she gains while writing in her journal, Kerry eventually finds herself on the path to a more fulfilling life. Writing in Library Journal, Lisa Davis Craig noted that "this solid addition to chick-lit collections has some genuinely funny moments." A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that "Kerry's cringeworthy worst memories are laugh-out-loud funny, and chick-lit fans will applaud her honest efforts to break bad behavior patterns." Clarissa Cruz and Leah Greenblatt, writing in Entertainment Weekly, noted that the novel "scores with Kerry's laugh-out-loud tales of shame."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Entertainment Weekly, November 26, 2004, Clarissa Cruz and Leah Greenblatt, review of The Journal of Mortifying Moments, p. 123.

Library Journal, September 1, 2004, Lisa David-Craig, review of The Journal of Mortifying Moments, p. 139.

Publishers Weekly, October 6, 2003, John F. Baker, "Another Book with High Frankfurt Hopes Is a Comic First Novel Called The Journal of Mortifying Moments," p. 11; October 4, 2004, review of The Journal of Mortifying Moments, p. 70.

ONLINE

AllReaders.com, http://www.allreaders.com/ (May 5, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of The Journal of Mortifying Moments.

Chicklitbooks, http://www.chicklitbooks.com/ (May 5, 2005), interview with Harding.

Robyn Harding Home Page, http://www.robynharding.com (May 5, 2005).