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Rennison, Louise 1951–

Rennison, Louise 1951–

PERSONAL:

Born 1951, in Leeds, Yorkshire, England; children: one daughter. Education: Attended Brighton Polytechnic University.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Brighton, England.

CAREER:

Writer, novelist, and comedian. British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC), Radio-4 comedy columnist; contributor to Woman's Hour, BBC Radio-4, Home Truths, BBC Radio-4, and the John Peel Show, BBC Radio-1. Worked variously as a playleader and dental nurse.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Nestlé Smarties Bronze Award, 1999, and Sheffield Children's Book of the Year shortlist, Branford Boase Award, Federation of Children's Book Groups Pick of the Year and Book of the Year designations, Cuffies Award funniest novel designation, and Booklist Book for Youth Editor's Choice and Top-Ten Youth First Novels designations, all 2000, and New York Public Library Books for the Teen-Age, American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults and Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers designations, and Michael L. Printz Honor Book, all 2001, all for Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging; Lancashire Children's Book of the Year Award shortlist, and Waterstone's Pick of the Paperbacks, both 2000, both for It's OK, I'm Wearing Really Big Knickers! Further Confessions by Georgia Nicolson; Edinburgh Film Festival Awards, for Stevie Wonder Felt My Face.

WRITINGS:

Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, Piccadilly Press (London, England), 1999, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000, published as Confessions of Georgia Nicholson, Avon (New York, NY), 2004.

It's OK, I'm Wearing Really Big Knickers! Further Confessions by Georgia Nicolson, Piccadilly Press (London, England), 2000, published as On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God: Further Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, Harper-Collins (New York, NY), 2001, published as Further Confessions of Georgia Nicholson, Avon (New York, NY), 2006.

Knocked out by My Nunga-Nungas, Piccadilly Press (London, England), 2001, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

Dancing in My Nuddy-Pants: Even Further Confessions of Georgia Nicholson, Piccadilly Press (London, England), 2002, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.

Away Laughing on a Fast Camel: Even More Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, HarperTempest (New York, NY), 2004.

And That's When It Fell off in My Hand: Further Fabbity-Fab Confessions of Georgia Nicholson, Collins (London, England), 2004.

Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers: More Mad, Marvy Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, HarperTempest (New York, NY), 2005.

Startled by His Furry Shorts, HarperTempest (New York, NY), 2006.

Love Is a Many Trousered Thing: More Mad, Marvy Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, HarperTeen (New York, NY), 2007.

Creator of one-woman autobiographical show Stevie Wonder Felt My Face, and other comic routines, including Bob Marley's Gardener Sold My Friend and Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head.

ADAPTATIONS:

Paramount produced a film version of Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson. Rennison's "Georgia Nicolson" books have been adapted as audiobooks.

SIDELIGHTS:

In 2000 Louise Rennison became a publishing sensation on both sides of the Atlantic with her teenage protagonist Georgia Nicolson, inspired largely by Rennison's own teenage years. "The main character Georgia is really based on my experiences of when I was fourteen. I wrote the book to make myself laugh. I always wrote what I remembered making me laugh when I was that age," Rennison wrote on her Home Page. "I wanted her to be someone who is a bit stupid and self-obsessed and difficult and funny and rude, and a bit jealous and all those other things. But I wanted her to have a good heart."

Rennison wrote the first "Georgia Nicolson book," Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, upon the suggestion of an editor who had seen the author's one-woman show, Stevie Wonder Felt My Face. Written as a series of journal entries, Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging tells of Georgia's almost feral cat Angus, her concerns about her looks, and her budding love life. Booklist reviewer Michael Cart called the "misadventures … not only hysterically funny but universally recognizable," and Deborah Stevenson, writing in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, praised Rennison's characterization of her heroine as "helplessly authentic and helplessly humorous in her escapades." School Library Journal reviewer Angela J. Reynolds predicted that readers would need to be sophisticated to appreciate the "wit and wisdom of this charming British import." Several critics likened the novel to Helen Fielding's best-selling Bridget Jones's Diary (a comparison with which Rennison disagrees). "Nicolson's journal is just like Bridget's: improbable but undeniably funny," wrote a Horn Book reviewer. According to a Publishers Weekly reviewer, Rennison "exquisitely" captures the "fine art of the adolescent ability to turn chaos into stand-up comedy." Several commentators noted "Georgia's distinct voice that will capture readers," to quote Teri Lesesne of the Voice of Youth Advocates. In fact, the language is so unique that a glossary of British slang was appended (by Georgia herself) to the American edition of Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging.

Rennison has reprised Georgia Nicolson in several sequels, including On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God: Further Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, Knocked out by My Nunga-Nungas, and Dancing in My Nuddy-Pants. In On the Bright Side, Georgia's "laugh-a-minute narration picks up right where it left off," noted a Publishers Weekly contributor. This time Georgia's father is working in New Zealand, and she is afraid that they will have to move, taking her away from her love interest. In the view of a Horn Book commentator, the sequel contains a "similar hilarity" to that of the original, and it is "this trenchant wit that makes her diary entries so entertaining." Mara Bright, noting in School Library Journal that part of the story's originality lies in the author's use of slang, predicted that On the Bright Side would be "devoured" by pre-teen and teenage girls alike.

In Away Laughing on a Fast Camel: Even More Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, Robbie the Sex God has gone to New Zealand, and Georgia misses him terribly. When she finally does receive a letter from him, it is pleasant, but not at all romantic, which sends Georgia to the depths of teenage heartbreak. She cheers up, however, when her attention is snagged by the new hunk in town, the gorgeous Italian American musician Masimo. An incident with stuck-together boy entrancers (that is, fake eyelashes) causes some initial problems, but soon Georgia and Masimo start going out. Georgia also keeps wondering how Dave the Laugh, a boy she likes but pretends to ignore, will fit into her social plans. As the novel comes to an end, Georgia's father announces that the family will soon be heading to the United States for a vacation. Soon, Georgia is anxiously wondering how she will keep up her normal life, and keep pursuing Masimo, from a far-away foreign country. School Library Journal contributor Angela M. Boccuzzi remarked of Georgia: "Even though the teen hasn't matured much, her voice is still fresh." In a Kliatt review, Paula Rohrlick observed that there is not much "plotline in this piece of inspired silliness, but as all Georgia's fans know most of the fun is in the telling."

Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers: More Mad, Marvy Confessions of Georgia Nicolson takes Georgia, her best friend Jaz, and family to America, where her father wants to make an Elvis-inspired pilgrimage to Memphis, TN, and Graceland. Soon, Georgia is adjusting to, and commenting on, all the strangeness and unfamiliarity of a new country. Later, Georgia learns that Masimo has also come to the States for a visit, and is in Manhattan—just a short distance away, according to the map she consults. How hard could it be, she wonders, to find a guy like Masimo in New York? While Georgia learns about American geography the hard way, she must also deal with her oddball family, learn important fashion lessons (such as, do not wear shoes so small they have to be cut off your feet), and deal with wicked cats who eat her boy entrancers. Her return to England leaves Georgia dismayed and sad when Masimo becomes more interested in her rival Wet Lindsay than herself. Rohrlick, in another Kliatt review, called the novel "another treat for Georgia's many fans." Georgia "has earned a large and loving readership, and her new adventure leaves fans in a giddy state," remarked Debbie Carton in a Booklist review.

In Startled by His Furry Shorts, Georgia remains "tormented by embarrassing parents, an annoying little sister, diabolical cats, and inaccessible boys," noted Stephanie L. Petruso in the School Library Journal. The highly desirable Masimo seems to be indifferent to Georgia, telling her he will let her know if he wants her to be his girlfriend. The reliable Dave the Laugh becomes more attractive all the time. Meanwhile, Georgia has secured a part in the school production of MacBeth, which occupies a lot of time she might otherwise spend pining or pursuing. A Viking wedding also features prominently in Georgia's life as she and best friend Jaz plan the event for friends Rosie and Sven. Rohrlick concluded that Georgia's many dedicated fans "will be eager to get their hands on this latest installment of silly fun."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, July, 2000, Michael Cart, review of Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, p. 2033; September 15, 2000, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, p. 234; November 15, 2000, Hazel Rochman, review of Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, p. 631; September 1, 2004, Debbie Carton, review of Away Laughing on a Fast Camel: Even More Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, p. 109; August, 2005, Debbie Carton, review of Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers: More Mad, Marvy Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, p. 2017; October 15, 2006, Cindy Welch, review of Startled by His Furry Shorts: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, p. 44.

Bookseller, July 14, 2006, Sarah Ling, review of Startled by His Furry Shorts, p. 11.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, May, 2000, Deborah Stevenson, review of Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, p. 329.

Daily Mail (London, England), August 23, 2001, Louise Rennison, "From Single Mother to Superstar," p. 56.

Girl's Life, February, 2001, Kim Childress, "Romance with a Twist," p. 34.

Horn Book, May, 2000, review of Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, p. 320; May, 2001, review of On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God, p. 335; September-October, 2004, Jennifer M. Brabander, review of Away Laughing on a Fast Camel, p. 596; September 1, 2005, Martha V. Parravano, review of Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers, p. 587.

Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, March, 2002, Michael R. Muise, review of Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, pp. 550-551.

Kliatt, July, 2004, Paula Rohrlick, review of Away Laughing on a Fast Camel, p. 12; July, 2005, Paula Rohrlick, review of Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers, p. 15; March, 2006, Mary Purucker, review of Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers, p. 57; May, 2006, Paula Rohrlick, review of Startled by His Furry Shorts, p. 13; July, 2006, Paula Rohrlick, review of Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers, p. 21.

Publishers Weekly, March 20, 2000, review of Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, p. 94; February 26, 2001, review of On the Bright Side, p. 87; April 1, 2002, Diane Roback, profile of Louise Rennison, p. 24.

School Librarian, spring, 2006, review of Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers.

School Library Journal, July, 2000, Angela J. Reynolds, review of Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, p. 109; May, 2001, Mara Bright, review of On the Bright Side, p. 159; November, 2004, Angela M. Boccuzzi, review of Away Laughing on a Fast Camel, p. 153; August, 2005, Sarah Couri, review of Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers, p. 134; January, 2006, Stephanie A. Squicciarini, review of Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers, p. 83; July, 2006, Stephanie L. Petruso, review of Startled by His Furry Shorts, p. 111.

Sunday Mirror (London, England), July 22, 2001, Sally Morris, review of Knocked out by My Nunga-Nungas, p. 42.

Voice of Youth Advocates, June, 2000, Teri Lesesne, review of Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, p. 118; October 1, 2004, Shari Fesko, review of Away Laughing on a Fast Camel, p. 306; October 1, 2005, review of Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers, p. 314.

ONLINE

Brighton and Hove,http://www.theargus.co.uk/ (December 7, 2001), Sally Hall, "Fabitty Fab Fab Confessions of Author Lady Who Giggled at Nunga-Nunga Trauma Years."

Confessions of Georgia Nicholson Web site, http://www.georgianicolson.com (August 10, 2007).

Georgia Nicholson Home Page, http://www.georgianicolson.co.uk (August 10, 2007).

Teenreads.com,http://www.teenreads.com/ (July 18, 2001), Lucy Burns, interview with Louise Rennison; (August 10, 2007), interview with Louise Rennison.

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