KRANTZ, JUDITH (1928– ), U.S. novelist. After growing up in New York City, and graduating from Wellesley College, Judith Tarcher Krantz raised two sons with her husband, a film and television producer. In 1976, after her husband took flying lessons, she decided to face her fear of flying and took lessons as well. When she overcame that fear, she supposedly looked for other fears to conquer, and so decided to write fiction. Nine months later, she produced her first novel, Scruples, about the lives and steamy loves of people who work and shop in a Beverly Hills, Calif., boutique named Scruples. It was published in 1978, the year she turned 50, and reached No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Her byline was familiar to readers of women's magazines such as Good Housekeeping and Cosmopolitan before she turned to fiction, but in the romance genre she produced bestseller after bestseller, more than ten of them, including Princess Daisy, set in the splendor of St. Petersburg and Venice; I'll Take Manhattan, a drama of power, sexual obsession, betrayal, and true love played out in the arena of magazine publishing; Mistral's Daughter, the story of an artist, Julien Mistral, and his relationship with three raven-haired women; and Lovers, the sequel to Scruples and Scruples Two, a tale of love, money, talent, ambition, and passion. All the books display a scrupulous knowledge of the fashion business and often the art, antiques, and jewelry trades, with intricate plots jammed with industry details while providing an inside look at high-octane glamour. A Judith Krantz heroine, according to an article in the Times, is "beautiful (of course) but also smart, smart, smart." Her books sold more than 100 million copies in 52 languages and some of her books were made into television series. Her memoir Sex and Shopping: The Confessions of a Nice Jewish Girl appeared in 2000.
[Stewart Kampel (2nd ed.)]