Jewell, Lisa 1968-

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Jewell, Lisa 1968-

PERSONAL:

Born July 19, 1968, in London, England; daughter of Anthony (a textile agent) and Kay (a secretary) Jewell; married; children: Amelie. Education: Attended Barnet College and Epsom School of Art and Design.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Swiss Cottage, London, England. Agent—Casarotto Ramsay & Associates Ltd., Waverley House, 7-12 Noel St., London W1F 8GQ, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Novelist. Worked in the fashion industry in London, England, for five years. Has also worked as a secretary.

WRITINGS:

Ralph's Party, Plume (New York, NY), 2000.

Thirtynothing, Plume (New York, NY), 2001.

One-Hit Wonder, Dutton (New York, NY), 2002.

A Friend of the Family, Dutton (New York, NY), 2003.

Vince & Joy, Penguin (London, England), 2005, Harper (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

After attending college to pursue a career in art, design, and fashion, British writer Lisa Jewell became disillusioned with the "cut-throat" world of fashion and eventually began taking evening classes in creative writing at her local adult education college in London. It was here that she discovered her talent and passion for writing, and she has since published a number of critically acclaimed novels, including Thirtynothing and Vince & Joy.

Although Barbara Sutton, writing in the New York Times Book Review, referred to Jewell's debut novel, Ralph's Party as a "sitcom novel," it gained international success as a best seller. A contributor to Kirkus Reviews described Ralph's Party as "a shameless flirt of a first novel that traces the roller-coaster lives of six people sharing the same London brownstone." The reviewer commented that "the author casts a perceptive eye on the difficulty of relationships." A reviewer in Publishers Weekly called the book a "light delight" that comes to "an amusing denouement."

Jewell followed Ralph's Party with Thirtynothing, "another hip and happening comic love story," wrote a contributor to Kirkus Reviews, complete with "endearing characters and fine comic timing." Two friends, Digby and Nadine, are thirty-year-old Londoners whose relationships with others have all been casual. When an old love comes back into Digby's life, Nadine begins to realize that her friend is the man she has loved all along. Jennifer Wulff, reviewing the novel in People, described Thirtynothing as a "witty British import" that tells the story of Digby and Nadine in a way that "is not in the least predictable" and includes "dozens of laugh-out-loud moments." A reviewer in Publishers Weekly stated that the book's best attribute might be "Jewell's keen observation of British pop culture." Whitney Scott, writing in Booklist, wrote that "Jewell's latest saucy and slangy love story should entertain audiences beyond the U.K."

In 2002 Jewell followed up Thirtynothing, with One-Hit Wonder, which Library Journal contributor May Brozio-Andrews called "an engaging coming-of-age tale skillfully told by interweaving the past and present." Booklist contributor Kathleen Hughes labeled it "part mystery, part Brit-pop fiction," noting Jewell's "masterful way of unraveling a story bit by bit to pique the reader's interest."

After publishing A Friend of the Family, in 2003, Jewell released the 2005 novel Vince & Joy, "a deliciously addictive read filled with London oddballs, horrid husbands and romantic destiny," noted a critic in Kirkus Reviews. Vince Mellon and Joy Downer, a pair of misfit teenagers, meet at a seaside resort while vacationing with their families. They fall in love but, through a series of misunderstandings, lose touch with one another. As the years pass, they both endure a series of failed relationships until fate brings them together once again. Entertainment Weekly reviewer Clarissa Cruz praised the novel, calling it a "realistic, often dark portrayal of modern love," and a critic in Publishers Weekly remarked, "Jewell's lively prose and amusing observations … effortlessly guide the story toward a satisfying ending."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, December 1, 2000, Whitney Scott, review of Thirtynothing, p. 694; May 1, 2002, Kathleen Hughes, review of One-Hit Wonder, p. 1507.

Entertainment Weekly, October 6, 2006, Clarissa Cruz, review of Vince & Joy, p. 73.

Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 1999, review of Ralph's Party, p. 1667; November 1, 2000, review of Thirtynothing, p. 1507; August 1, 2006, review of Vince & Joy, p. 744.

Library Journal, May 1, 2002, May Brozio-Andrews, review of One-Hit Wonder, p. 133; July 1, 2003, Elizabeth Mellet, review of A Friend of the Family, p. 123; September 15, 2006, Rebecca Vnuk, review of Vince & Joy, p. 48.

New York Times Book Review, January 9, 2000, Barbara Sutton, review of Ralph's Party, p. 20.

People, February 12, 2001, Jennifer Wulff, review of Thirtynothing, p. 41.

Publishers Weekly, October 18, 1999, review of Ralph's Party, p. 68; November 6, 2000, review of Thirtynothing, p. 69; May 27, 2002, review of One-Hit Wonder, p. 38; August 7, 2006, review of Vince & Joy, p. 31.

ONLINE

All about Romance,http://www.likesbooks.com/ (September 15, 2001), Maria K., review of Thirtynothing.

Girl Posse,http://www.girlposse.com/ (January 30, 2007), "The Fifteen Question E-Mail Interview with Lisa Jewell."

Lisa Jewell Home Page,http://www.lisa-jewell.co.uk (January 30, 2007).

Telegraph Online,http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ (August 8, 2005), Alex Clark, "Lisa Jewell."

Trashionista,http://www.trashionista.com/ (March 5, 2007), review of Vince & Joy; (March 5, 2007), reviews of Ralph's Party and A Friend of the Family.