Yampolsky, Karen

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Yampolsky, Karen

PERSONAL:

Married; children: two. Education: Graduated from New York University.

ADDRESSES:

Home— Westchester County, NY. Agent— The Literary Group International, Stanford Bldg., 51 E. 25th St., Ste. 401, New York, NY 10010.

CAREER:

Writer. Former executive assistant at Jane magazine.

WRITINGS:

Falling out of Fashion, Kensington Books (New York, NY), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Karen Yampolsky's first novel,Falling out of Fashion, takes place in the fast-paced world of New York magazine publishing. The heroine, former hippie-turned-prep-school brainy misfit Jill White, has longed to create a magazine featuring real women—not those in the unattainable world of super models and stick-thin celebutants. She succeeds beyond her wildest dreams, attaining wealth, happiness, and a high-profile career that is the toast of New York. Trouble ensues when her successful publication, the self-named Jill, is bought out by a media conglomerate whose head has no use for her. Jill's world is thrown into a tailspin, requiring every ounce of pluck she can muster to turn the tables on her heartless corporate bosses and claw her way back to the top.

Like many "chick lit" novels before it, most notably The Devil Wears Prada, Falling out of Fashion 's world of back-stabbing fashionistas is rooted in the author's own experiences. In Yampolsky's case, she spent nine years as the executive assistant for Jane Pratt, the founder and editor-in-chief of Jane magazine. Furthermore, Jill's career boasts many similarities to Pratt's: Jill's first magazine (launched when she was only twenty-four years old),Cheeky, folds, as did Pratt's early effort,Sassy. Jill's next magazine is the eponymous Jill, just as Pratt's was Jane. When Jill is taken over by a media conglomerate (as Jane was acquired by Condé Nast), Jill is forced out by management and ends up with a show on satellite radio—all fictional events that have real-life correlations.

Critical reaction to Falling out of Fashion was mixed. Most reviewers noted the novel's roman à clef aspects, and either celebrated them as a delicious example of the cut-throat nature of the media and fashion industries, or felt the story lacked originality. Radar Online reviewer Jeff Bercovici repeated speculation of those in the publishing world who believed that Yampolsky was merely a ghostwriter for Pratt's thinly veiled autobiography and called Falling out of Fashion "the most transparently vindictive roman à clef of all time." However, Jonathan Durbin, writing in People, admired the book's "girl-power message" and called it "inspirational" and "rewarding," while a reviewer for Publishers Weekly concluded that the character Jill is "a sometimes selfish but mostly likable woman."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

People, May 7, 2007, Sue Corbett, review of Falling out of Fashion, p. 55.

Publishers Weekly, March 19, 2007, review of Falling out of Fashion, p. 41.

ONLINE

Radar Online,http://www.radaronline.com/ (January 31, 2007), Jeff Bercovici, review of Falling out of Fashion.

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Yampolsky, Karen

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