Bushnell’s new book features India

New Delhi: Celebrated writer-columnist Candace Bushnell, known for her iconic society column ‘Sex and the City; which was serialised into the hit HBO tele-drama, is including a slice of India in her new book.

"I have just started writing it. One of the characters, an actress, comes to India and may be she would stay in India. I am observing the sights, sounds, colours and lives of India," Bushnell, who was in India for the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival Jan 21-25, told reporters.

Bushnell is married to New York-based ballet dancer Charles Askegard.

"My heroine will probably stay in Jaipur. I will carry it back with me to New York," Bushnell said.

The 53-year-old writer, whose hourglass frame and gamine face framed by platinum blonde tresses could well pass her off as a Hollywood personality, has completed writing "Summer and the City". It is a prequel to "Sex and the City", where New York is as much a character as the four friends Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda.

" `Summer and the City` is a story about Carrie Bradshaw`s first summer in New York where she meets Samantha and Miranda. It is the usual adventure. Carrie is thrust into an adult world. She has enrolled for a writing course - and is trying her luck as a young writer. Samantha is older and has a job," the writer said.

"The book captures New York of the early 1980s - its sheer energy and zest," Bushnell said.

"The city was cleaner and more corporate in the 1980s. In the early eighties, NY had no money, but it was a very creative time. People were designing clothes in their little apartments and converting their homes into art galleries. I loved that New York, but I was always curious about people with money," said Bushnell, trying to explain the psychology which drove her columns and novels.

The other books to the credit of the New York-based writer are ‘Sex and the City’, ‘Four Blondes’, ‘Trading Up’, ‘Lipstick Jungle’, ‘The Fifth Avenue’ and ‘Carrie Dairies’.

Bushnell said she wanted to write something about the 1980s in New York "after writing the Carrie Diaries".

"The 1980s were so incredible, exciting and dangerous. I loved it. You did not know what was going to happen next. I wanted to capture that feeling of uncertainty," Bushnell said.

The writer wanted to live in New York .
"I think it was a book, `Eloise at the Plaza`, I read as a child that planted the desire to live in NYC inside me. It was about a little girl who lived in Plaza Hotel in NYC with her turtle Skipper D," Bushnell recalled.

Bushnell, who moved to New York from Connecticut at 19, wrote ‘Sex and the City’ at the age of 34.

"When I moved to New York to be a writer I would write anything for two dollars. I contributed to women`s magazine as a freelancer about how young women lived in New York. The New York Observer offered me a column and I wrote a fictional column Human Cartoons for the Hamptons magazines in 1990 before `Sex and the City`. It was what I have been doing for nearly 12 years before writing `Sex and the City`," Bushnell said.

The girlie fiction writer, who loves to read Roald Dahl, has "five unfinished children`s books in her drawer" that she intends to finish some day.

Bushnell says speaking about ‘Sex and the City’ tires her. Instead she chooses to wax about the other books she has authored.

"I wrote `Four Blondes` when I was writing `Sex and the City`. It was about three women in search of rich men, who made a moral pact and sold their souls to the devils. And a fourth woman, who goes to London to look for love and a good magazine story," Bushnell said.

‘Four Blondes’ is an extension of the ‘Sex and the City’ broadcast between 1998 and 2004 about four white women and their way through issues like safe sex, promiscuity, friendships and lifestyle hazards.

Bushnell finds women fascinating. "I grew up with two younger sisters, girlfriends, mother and great grandmother. I found them so complex - they can be ambitious, self-absorbed as well as nurturing at the same time," she said.

Three powerful writers tickle the litterateur inside Bushnell. "Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina), Edith Wharton and Evelyn Waugh - their books are well-executed," she said.



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