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November 08, 1985 - Image 38

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-11-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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13 Friday, November $, 198 5
'3.



THE DETROIT J ENSH NEWS

0

Now It's Out:
Rona Jaffe
Didn't Attend
Her Class Reunion

As her 12th book, After The Reunion, hits the best
seller lists, the high priestess of female angst talks
about why she avoided the reunion of her class at
Radcliffe, and where an entire generation went wrong.

BY ARTHUR J. MAGIDA
Special to The Jewish News

in her books seem to take every few
minutes. It is somewhere near the begin-
ning of a four-month coast-to-coast book
tour for Jaffe and down the road lie Bos-
ton and Toronto and Cleveland and Seat-
tle and San Francisco and Dallas and Min-
neapolis.
There's a whole nation out there waiting
to hear what Rona Jaffe has to say. And
waiting to read what she has to write.
What Rona Jaffe says, she says well. And
what she writes, she sells well. Jaffe is a
pro. She's been playing the writer's game
since the age of 26 when her first book, The
Best of Pl; thing, cornered a hold on the
best seller lists. Her twelfth and latest
book, After the Reunion, seems destined
to have a similar success. Out for just over
a month, it's on The New York Times best
seller list — and still climbing.
Jaffe knows how to tout her wares.
There will be talk shows and call-in shows
and audience participation shows that
Jaffe does so well. There will be quiet tete-
a-tetes with local journalists and book-
signing stints at Walden book shops in
hermetically sealed shopping malls where
women who lead lives of the quietest des-
peration will come up to her and tell her
their deepest and darkest secrets.
For Rona Jaffe is someone they can
trust. Rona Jaffe is someone they can call
their own, even though she has never been
married, has no children and carries none
of the hush-hush stigmata which they
whisper, almost conspiratorially, into her
ear as she scribbles her name into yet
another of her books.
And usually around 10 or 11 at night

She's the high priestess of female angst,
covering the whole dismal spectrum from
boy-chasing in college and the first blush
of puppy love to the cruel pain of broken
marriages, rampant alcoholism, desperate
psychotherapy, children's suicides, and
husbands who may cheat (with men or
women, depending on their mood) or are
so impotent they would just rather be left
alone.
It's a hard world that Rona Jaffe writes
about in book after book after book. Often,
it's not a particularly pretty world. But
despite the marital or filial or alcoholic or
pharmaceutical disasters that fill the
pages of her books, Jaffe is not down at
the mouth. She's bright and perky. She
ha an easy laugh. For someone who
doesn't give her characters the smoothest
of lives, she has a good sense of humor.
In fact, Rona Jaffe seems to have had
a fairly good time of it herself. She enjoyed
the privileges of being an only child. She
matriculated at Radcliffe at 15 and was be-
friended by motherly sophomores who
showed her the ropes. She managed to get
a berth at Briggs Hall, where, she recalls,
"the most popular girls lived" and, thus,
with Radcliffe's official imprimatur of be-
ing more than a "nice" girl, even a "popu-
lar" one, Jaffe had a rollicking good time
in college at an age when most girls were
safe and secure under their parents' roofs.
But here sits Rona Jaffe, more than two
decades out of college and more popular
than ever, at least, if her book sales are any
indication. There's a full cup of coffee in
front of her that she has barely touched
and a half-eaten egg and she's taking one
of those deep breaths that the characters

Continued on Page 40



Craig Terkowit.

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