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Article  •  5 April 2023

 

Curtis Sittenfeld's message to readers

A letter to readers from author Curtis Sittenfeld about her new book, 'Romantic Comedy'.

Dear Reader,

As you might know, there’s a writing axiom similar to that famous line about being the change you wish to see in the world: Write the book you want to read.

This time around, I wanted to write a novel that was, above all, fun. The last few years have been rough ones in big and small ways for just about all of us. That’s why I longed to escape to a fizzy, delicious, romance-filled parallel universe—one that I could exist in while I was writing and share with you after I finished.

My husband, kids, and I really embraced watching Saturday Night Live during the pandemic, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s noticed the real-life pattern of talented but somewhat ordinary (dare I say mortal?) male writers and cast members from SNL dating and even marrying gorgeous, extremely accomplished female celebrities (dare I say goddesses?) who appear on the show as hosts or musical guests. What would happen, I wondered, if a female writer on a show like SNL created a sketch mocking this phenomenon and pointing out that it would never happen if the writer was female and the celebrity was male? And then what would happen if, to her own surprise, the writer found herself hitting it off with that week’s gorgeous, extremely accomplished male celebrity guest host? What if the two of them bantered and flirted and had great chemistry and lots of sexual tension, but what if the writer was so neurotic and burned by past relationships that she couldn’t believe this magnificent lovefest was really happening to her and risked sabotaging it?

I researched the late night comedy show setting of Romantic Comedy by reading memoirs written by SNL  cast members and listening to comedians interview one another on podcasts. Once while I was walking around in the snowy bitter cold of Minneapolis, where I live, I found myself listening to Bill Hader giggle wildly on Mike Birbiglia’s ‘Working It Out’ podcast, and from inside my huge puffy coat, in the zero-degree chill, I started laughing, too. I thought to myself, writing this book was such a good idea. I hope you agree.

xoxo Curtis

Feature Title

Romantic Comedy
Curtis Sittenfeld's most popular novel yet, her breakout new Sunday Times bestseller and reader favourite,
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