Lauren Weisberger (born March 28, 1977) is an American novelist and author of the 2003 bestseller The Devil Wears Prada, a speculated roman à clef of her real life experience as a put-upon assistant to Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.
Weisberger was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania to a school teacher mother and a department-store-president turned mortgage-broker father. Her family is Jewish and Weisberger was raised in Conservative Judaism and later Reform Judaism. Lauren Weisberger interview | www.somethingjewish.co.uk She spent her early youth in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, a small town outside Scranton. At age eleven, her parents divorced and she and her younger sister, Dana, moved to Allentown, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of the state, with their mother.
In 1995, she graduated from South Whitehall Township's Parkland High School, near Allentown. During her time at Parkland, Weisberger was involved in various activities, including intramural sports, some competitive sports, extra projects, and organizations.
Following her graduation from Parkland High School, she attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where she was an English major and a sorority member of Alpha Epsilon Phi, graduating in 1999. After college, she traveled as a backpacker through Europe, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Thailand, India, Nepal, and Hong Kong. Returning home, she moved to Manhattan and was hired as Wintour's assistant at Vogue. She was there for ten months before leaving along with features editor Richard Story. While she herself said she felt out of place there, the magazine's managing editor, Laurie Jones, said "she seemed to be a perfectly happy, lovely woman".
After leaving the fashion magazine, she wrote 100-word reviews for Departures Magazine, an American Express publication, before writing her first novel. She also published an article in Playboy magazine in 2004.
Her success came really from her stint at Departures Magazine working as an assistant editor. After mentioning her interest in writing classes to her boss, Richard Story, he referred her to his long esteemed friend, Charles Salzberg. She started writing a story about her time at Vogue, trying to complete fifteen pages every couple of weeks. After continuous nudging for her to show her completed writing to agents, she finally did and within two weeks, it was sold.
Weisberger's second novel, Everyone Worth Knowing, was published in fall 2005, and is based upon the trials and tribulations of the New York City public relations world. It received generally unfavorable reviews. The New York Times Book Review described it as "fatuous, clunky." USA Today called it "lackluster imitation," and Entertainment Weekly said it was "ho-hum rehash." Despite debuting on The New York Times Best Sellers List at #10, it dropped off the list in two weeks and was noted for its disappointing sales. Publisher Simon & Schuster paid Weisberger $1 million for the novel. The audio book was read by actress Eliza Dushku.
In some European countries this novel was released as Gossip and Gucci.
Chasing Harry Winston
Chasing Harry Winston is Weisberger's third novel, which was released on May 27, 2008. It was released in the United Kingdom on May 19, 2008. The main characters are three best friend New Yorkers, Emmy, Adriana and Leigh, who are facing the horror of turning 30. Recently dumped Emmy promises to make a drastic change and find guys from every continent for casual affairs. Beautiful Brazilian Adriana in turn tries to leave her old lifestyle of sleeping around and living off daddy in order to get a Harry Winston ring on her finger before the first wrinkles start showing. Leigh, the one with the perfect life, doesn't know what she needs in order to be happy and to be able to relax.
In September 2008, it was announced that Universal Pictures had picked up the rights to the book. It was also announced that the movie will be translated into French, Dutch and Italian.
In some European countries this novel was released as Chanel Chic, and in Italy the title is Un anello da Tiffany (A ring from Tiffany).
The book was panned by critics and was voted "#1 Worst Book of 2008" by Entertainment Weekly.
Her short story "The Bamboo Confessions" is included in the anthology American Girls About Town, and is about a New York City backpacker who travels around the world and begins to view her love life back home in a different light.