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Helen Fielding biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Helen Fielding

Helen Fielding

Helen Fielding Biography

Helen Fielding was born in an industrial town in the north of England, studied at Oxford University, and went on to work in television at the BBC. Her first novel, Cause Celeb, was based on her experience while filming documentaries in Africa for Comic Relief. Her other books include Bridget Jones's Diary, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination, as well as a book of short stories in aid of Oxfam entitled Ox-tales. She divides her time between London and Los Angeles.



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Interview

Helen Fielding discusses the reason she wrote Bridget as a diary, the vocabulary she invented for the book, and what she thinks about reviewers who state it’s an "insult to feminism".

Reproduced with the permission of the publisher, Viking Books.

Did anything in particular strike you about the reaction of American readers?
I was very surprised that the book took off in America. Before I left, there was an open letter in the paper saying "Don't go there, they won't get it, Americans don't understand irony and self-deprecation." There's a strong culture of self-improvement in America, which is both good and bad. The idea of getting up at five and whizzing from the gym to the board meeting, of getting your bottom down to size and suddenly deciding your soul needs work. I think it's rather a joyless way of being for women, but it seems to have infected us on a global scale. I think that's what people latched on to most.

Why did you write Bridget as a diary?
The best advice I ever had about writing was to do it as if you were writing for a friend. The diary form's very good for that, very direct and intimate. Because it's an imaginary character, you can hide behind a persona. It also allows you to write the sort of shameful thoughts that everyone has but no one wants to admit to, since you're not trying to make anyone like you. A diary is an outlet for your most ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Helen Fielding at BookBrowse
Mad About the Boy jacket Bridget Jones - The Edge of Reason jacket Bridget Jones's Diary jacket
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All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Helen Fielding but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Melissa Bank

    Melissa Bank

    Melissa Bank is an American author. She attended Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and has an MFA from Cornell University. Her works include The Girls' Guide to Hunting, Fishing, a volume of short stories: The Worst Thing a ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Bridget Jones's Diary

    Try:
    The Girl's Guide To Hunting & Fishing
    by Melissa Bank

  • Iona Grey

    Iona Grey

    Iona Grey has a degree in English Literature and Language from Manchester University, an obsession with history and an enduring fascination with the lives of women in the twentieth century. She lives in rural Cheshire with ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Bridget Jones's Diary

    Try:
    Letters to the Lost
    by Iona Grey

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