Bridget Jones's Diary
|Cover artist||Nick Turpin|
|Genre||Comedy novel, Chick lit|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|LC Class||PR6056.I4588 B75 1998|
|Followed by||Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason|
Bridget Jones's Diary is a 1996 novel by Helen Fielding. Written in the form of a personal diary, the novel chronicles a year in the life of Bridget Jones, a thirty-something single working woman living in London. She writes about her career, self-image, vices, family, friends, and romantic relationships.
By 2006, the book had sold over two million copies worldwide. Critics have credited Fielding's novel as the "ur-text" of the contemporary chick lit movement. A sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, was published in 1999. Another sequel, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, came out in 2013.
Bridget not only obsesses about her love life, but also details her various daily struggles with her weight, her over-indulgence in alcohol and cigarettes, and her career. Bridget's friends and family are the supporting characters in her diary. These friends are there for her unconditionally throughout the novel; they give her advice about her relationships, and support when problems arise. Her friends are essentially her surrogate family in London. Bridget's parents live outside of the city, and while they play a lesser role than her friends, they are important figures in Bridget's life. Her mother is an overconfident, doting woman who is constantly trying to marry Bridget off to a rich, handsome man; and her father is considerably more down-to-earth, though he is sometimes driven into uncharacteristically unstable states of mind by his wife. Bridget often visits her parents, as well as her parents' friends, primarily Geoffrey and Una Alconbury; Geoffrey creates a mildly uncomfortable situation for Bridget by insisting she call him "Uncle Geoffrey" despite his propensity for groping her rear end whenever they meet. In these situations, Bridget is often plagued with that perennial question "How's your love life?" and exposed to the eccentricities of middle class British society, manifested in turkey curry buffets and tarts and vicars parties at which the women wear sexually provocative ("tart") costumes, while the men dress as Anglican priests ("vicars"). The novel is based on Pride and Prejudice.
The novel won the 1998 British Book of the Year, and Tracie Bennett won the 2000 Audie Award for "Solo Female Narration" for her audiobook narration. In 2003, the novel was listed at number 75 on the BBC's survey The Big Read.
A film adaptation of the novel was released in 2001. The film stars Renée Zellweger (in an Academy Award nominated role) as the eponymous heroine, Hugh Grant as Daniel Cleaver, and Colin Firth as Mark Darcy. It was directed by Sharon Maguire (Helen Fielding's friend who was the inspiration for Shazzer) and the screenplay was written by Fielding, Andrew Davies, and Richard Curtis.
A musical version is currently in the works. The show is due to open in London's West End in 2012, although no date has been officially confirmed. British pop singer Lily Allen has written the score and lyrics, and Stephen Daldry will be directing, joined by his co-worker Peter Darling, who will serve as choreographer. An official cast for the production has not yet been finalised, but workshops for the show have already begun with TV actress and star of Legally Blonde the Musical, Sheridan Smith, in the title role.
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- Memmott, Carol (June 11, 2006). "Chick lit, for better or for worse, is here to stay". USA Today. Retrieved November 11, 2008.
- Whelehan, Imelda (2002). Bridget Jones's Diary: A Reader. Bloomsbury Academic.
- "Bridget Jones vs Pride and Prejudice". BBC News. January 28, 2013. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- Davidson, Merric. "British Book Awards - previous winners". Archived from the original on March 11, 2007. Retrieved November 11, 2008.
- "The Audie Awards - 2000". BooksAlley.com. Retrieved November 11, 2008.
- "BBC - The Big Read". BBC. April 2003. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- Shenton, Mark (May 15, 2009). "Stage Musical Version of "Bridget Jones's Diary" Is in the Works". Playbill. Archived from the original on October 17, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2010.