Jacobs, Laura

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Jacobs, Laura

PERSONAL: Married James Wolcott (a journalist and editor).

ADDRESSES: Home—Manhattan, NY. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Viking Publicity, 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014.

CAREER: Journalist and author. Dance critic for New Criterion; contributing editor, Vanity Fair.


Barbie: What a Doll!, Artabras (New York, NY), 1994, 2nd edition, 1999.

Barbie: In Fashion, 2nd edition, Abbeville Press (New York, NY), 1994, revised edition published as Barbie: Four Decades in Fashion, 1998.

(Author of text) Victor Skrebneski, The Art of Haute Couture, Abbeville Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Beauty and the Beene: A Modern Legend, illustrated by Sirichai, Abrams (New York, NY), 1999.

Women about Town (novel), Viking (New York, NY), 2002.

(With Geoffrey Beene, Marylou Luther, and Pamela A. Parmal) Beene by Beene, introduction by James Wolcott, Vendome Press (New York, NY), 2005.

Contributor to periodicals, including the Atlantic Monthly, New Republic, Chicago Reader, Village Voice, and Boston Phoenix.

WORK IN PROGRESS: A novel featuring one of the characters from Women about Town.

SIDELIGHTS: A contributing editor to Vanity Fair who also writes dance criticism for the New Criterion, Laura Jacobs is knowledgeable about the art and fashion world of New York City. She drew on this background to write her first novel, Women about Town, which tells of two career women trying to balance their work and social lives in the Big Apple. Forty-year-old Iris Biddle is a divorced designer of high-end lampshades that sell for thousands of dollars, while Lana Burton is thirty-four and writes about dance for a magazine. Jacobs parallels their stories in alternating chapters and has the two characters come together only near the end of her novel. What could have degenerated into a gossipy, shallow tale of glamorous socialites, however, turns into what Beth Warrell called in Booklist an "insightful look at the lives of today's career woman." While a Kirkus Reviews critic did label the novel "superficial," many other reviewers had much higher praise for Jacobs's debut. A Publishers Weekly writer insisted that the author "effectively avoids cliché by treating Iris and Lana with gravity and respect," and People critic Joyce Cohen wrote that Jacobs "writes with intelligence, grace and an utterly female sensibility."



Booklist, April 15, 2002, Beth Warrell, review of Women about Town, p. 1382.

Book World, May 19, 2002, review of Women about Town, p. 4.

Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2002, review of Women about Town, p. 359.

People, July 8, 2002, Joyce Cohen, "Pages," review of Women about Town, p. 35.

Publishers Weekly, April 22, 2002, review of Women about Town, p. 47; October 10, 2005, review of Beene by Beene, p. 52.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), May 18, 2003, review of Women about Town, p. 7.