The Vanity Fair Diaries by Tina Brown
1983 - 1992

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In this mode, Brown writes like Martin Amis’s acidulous twin, deploying or perhaps inventing Latinate adjectives like “halitotic”. But she has another register, slangier and crasser...
-Guardian

Synopsis

Tina Brown kept delicious daily diaries throughout her eight spectacular years as editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair. Today they provide an incendiary portrait of the flash and dash and power brokering of the Excessive Eighties in New York and Hollywood.

The Vanity Fair Diaries is the story of an Englishwoman barely out of her twenties who arrives in New York City with a dream. Summoned from London in hopes that she can save Condé Nast's troubled new flagship Vanity Fair, Tina Brown is immediately plunged into the maelstrom of the competitive New York media world and the backstabbing rivalries at the court of the planet's slickest, most glamour-focused magazine company. She survives the politics, the intrigue, and the attempts to derail her by a simple stratagem: succeeding. In the face of rampant skepticism, she triumphantly reinvents a failing magazine.

Here are the inside stories of Vanity Fair scoops and covers that sold millions―the Reagan kiss, the meltdown of Princess Diana's marriage to Prince Charles, the sensational Annie Leibovitz cover of a gloriously pregnant, naked Demi Moore. In the diary's cinematic pages, the drama, the comedy, and the struggle of running an "it" magazine come to life. Brown's Vanity Fair Diaries is also a woman's journey, of making a home in a new country and of the deep bonds with her husband, their prematurely born son, and their daughter.

Astute, open-hearted, often riotously funny, Tina Brown's The Vanity Fair Diaries is a compulsively fascinating and intimate chronicle of a woman's life in a glittering era.

 

About Tina Brown

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Tina Brown was 25 when she became editor-in-chief of England's' oldest glossy magazine The Tatler, reviving the nearly defunct 270 year old magazine with an attitude and style that gave it a 300 percent circulation rise. She went on to become editor-inchief of Vanity Fair, and won four National Magazine Awards. Brown herself has received 4 George Polk Awards, 5 Overseas Press Club Awards, and 10 National Magazine Awards, as well as the C.B.E. (Commander of the British Empire) from Queen Elizabeth. She is married to Sir Harold Evans. The couple have two children and reside in New York.
 
Published November 14, 2017 by Henry Holt and Co.. 435 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Vanity Fair Diaries
All: 7 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 4

Kirkus

Above average
on Nov 23 2017

Entertaining if sometimes mean-spirited and full of valuable lessons in how—and sometimes how not—to run a magazine.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Terry McDonell on Nov 17 2017

“The Vanity Fair Diaries” is corroborating evidence. Journalists will feast on it, but so too will anyone interested in media — especially magazines and how they came and went.

Read Full Review of The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983... | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Jennifer Senior on Nov 13 2017

For legacy-media freaks, “The Vanity Fair Diaries” is a bound volume of crack...Yet after reading these diaries, I still wonder how much of an audience exists for them.

Read Full Review of The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983... | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Peter Conrad on Nov 19 2017

In this mode, Brown writes like Martin Amis’s acidulous twin, deploying or perhaps inventing Latinate adjectives like “halitotic”. But she has another register, slangier and crasser...

Read Full Review of The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983... | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Hadley Freeman on Nov 14 2017

It feels a little unfair to blame Brown for Weinstein, who, like Talk, does not feature in The Vanity Fair Diaries. But it is striking how kind she is to other men in it who have since been accused of harassment or worse.

Read Full Review of The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983... | See more reviews from Guardian

Toronto Star

Below average
Reviewed by Tara Henley on Dec 15 2017

As such, there’s a missed opportunity with The Vanity Fair Diaries. Brown does little to analyze the extremes of American culture, beyond skewering clueless trophy wives and paranoid Master of the Universe-types.

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Financial Times

Above average
Reviewed by Anthony Quinn on Nov 17 2017

The writing isn’t knockout, but she has a journalist’s beady eye for detail, an amazing memory (she doesn’t drink) and an almost chilling sensitivity to the volatile market in social popularity.

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