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Fielding, Helen

darcy bridget obsession image

(British, 1960– )

Bridget Jones's Diary (1996) began as a column in the Independent newspaper. A single, thirty-something woman confides her hopes, dreams, her embarrassing drunken moments, her obsession with her weight, and her consumption of 5,277 cigarettes. Her New Year's resolution is the quest for the right man, leading to a disastrous affair with her boss. Her relationship with Mark Darcy (her mother's sensible choice) is ironically based on Elizabeth and Darcy in Austen's Pride and Prejudice. The immense popularity of this book, and its recent adaptation to film, is due to Fielding's ability to key into the contemporary obsession with image and health with a particularly lighthearted irony. Fielding's first novel, Cause Celeb (1994), satirizes Western media constructing TV documentaries in Africa and the absurd juxtaposition between the image-obsessed media and the struggling developing world. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2000) continues the confessional account of feminine self-doubt and despair through Bridget's relationship with Darcy.

Fay Weldon, Sue Townsend, Lucy Ellman. See ROMANCE  DJ

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