If having it all in Hollywood means being married to an ambitious movie studio exec, having an adorable daughter, owning a flawlessly decorated McMansion in Brentwood, belonging to the most exclusive clubs and always getting the best table in the hottest restaurants, then Molly Kagan has it all.
Until she gets the one phone call that changes everything.
With that call, not only does Molly’s husband Kenny inform her of his intentions to divorce just shy of their ten year anniversary (coincidentally before their pre-nup expires), but also he revokes her status as “Wife Of,” instantly transforming her into a “Starter Wife”—a decided step down, if not out—in the Hollywood pecking order.
In L.A., news travels fast—bad news even faster. Within hours, doors are slammed, her formerly packed social calendar is empty, she gets shunned by other Wives Of including one of her best friends, and worst of all, she discovers her ex is dating a pop tartlet who is half his age. All hope seems lost until Molly’s friend Joan comes to the rescue with the perfect antidote: an invitation to stay at her beach house for the summer in Malibu Colony, one of the most tony, private playgrounds of Hollywood’s elite.
With the help of her friends—some old and some new—Molly discovers that it’s up to her to be the architect of her new life and decide what she wants to make of it. Because, after all, Wife Goes On.
USA’s six-hour television event, “The Starter Wife,” is inspired by the New York Times bestselling novel of the same name written by Gigi Levangie Grazer. Grazer has been one of chick lit’s biggest and brightest stars but with “The Starter Wife” she has also conquered mom lit, fiction’s hottest new category. She is the writer who dared to—and succeeded in—nailing Hollywood through her three brilliantly satirical and wickedly funny fictional send-ups. No other novelist has captured the cut-throat yet often sublimely ridiculous world of Hollywood and its caricature-like denizens as Grazer. In all of her novels, she outs this insular society’s undying addiction to attention-seeking and how far they’ll go to uphold their status conscious-based values and superficial social mores. Grazer also has an uncanny talent for creating larger-than-life female characters who embody all of the messy contradictions that are inherent to a town whose main commercial product is celluloid fantasy, while still making her heroines relatable enough for her readers to root for them in the end.
Gigi Levangie Grazer is the author of “The Starter Wife” and also producer of “The Starter Wife” on USA Network. Grazer was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, where she lived for the majority of her life on the Eastside of Hollywood in an area littered with donut shops, gas stations and graffiti. She later attended U.C.L.A. where she majored in Political Science, with the intention of applying to law school. At the same time, Grazer was working for legendary TV guru, Fred Silverman, who offered her a title and raise to dissuade her from pursuing a higher education. The offer worked. Grazer worked for Fred Silverman for eight years, developing and writing television shows. In the meantime, she married an alluring Indian, Italian, African-American blues musician, though they separated after three years. After her divorce, Grazer wrote a spec feature script that was subsequently optioned.
Grazer went on to write the movie “Stepmom,” starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon. Up next, Grazer is set to write the romantic comedy “Prodigal Son” for Universal and Imagine Entertainment.
Her first novel, Rescue Me, was published by Simon & Schuster in June 2000 and optioned by Fox Searchlight Pictures. Her next novel, Maneater, was published by Simon & Schuster in June 2003 and optioned by Mandalay Pictures. The Starter Wife was published in June 2005 and recently, Grazer completed her fourth book, “The Billionairess,” which is set to hit bookshelves in July of this year.
Grazer met her future husband, Brian Grazer, Imagine Entertainment co-owner and Academy® Award-winning producer, by accident at Orlando-Orsini on Pico at a lunch with a Playboy executive. They had their first date a few days later and have been together ever since. Grazer is a proud stepmom to two teenagers and a proud mother of two young boys.
Commercial women’s fiction has always been one of publishing’s most popular genres with readers, but when Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding was published in 1996, it almost single-handedly defined a new sub-category of fiction targeted to young women that soon became known as chick lit. Typically, chick lit books feature single 20-to-30-something city-dwelling professionals who are struggling to figure out their careers and love lives—not necessarily in that order. The usually sassy, clever and plucky heroines have the requisite quirky sidekicks, an arch nemesis in the form of a boss or an ex’s ex and often two love interests: the good guy she should want and the bad boy she does want (and probably already has).
Soon writers were plumbing all aspects of the young urban woman’s life: sex and relationships with Candace Bushnell’s Sex and the City, career and the fashion magazine business with Lauren Weisberger’s The Devil Wears Prada and family ties with Jennifer Weiner’s In Her Shoes. It was in this genre that Gigi Levangie Grazer found her opportunity: as a true Hollywood Insider, Grazer was able to corner the market on chick lit—Hollywood Style, with her first two novels, Rescue Me and Maneater. The meteoric rise in popularity of chick lit has recently spurred the creation of a sub-genre called mom lit. Mom lit often features the same kind of spirited young woman who would’ve been—or even literally was in an earlier sequel—a chick lit heroine to see what happens after she gets the guy…and the house, and the career and most importantly, the baby.
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