Rona Jaffe’s beloved novel about 1950s NYC women in the workplace that paved the way for the #MeToo movement and iconic cultural touchstones like Sex and the City and Mad Men, now for the first time in Penguin Classics, in a 65th anniversary edition with an introduction by New Yorker staff writer Rachel Syme
When Rona Jaffe’s superb page-turner was first published in 1958, it changed contemporary fiction forever. Some readers were shocked, but millions more were electrified when they saw themselves reflected in the story of five young employees of a New York publishing company. Sixty-five years later, The Best of Everything remains touchingly—and sometimes hilariously—true to the personal and professional struggles women face in the city. There’s Ivy League Caroline, who dreams of graduating from the typing pool to an editor’s office; naïve country girl April, who within months of hitting town reinvents herself as the woman every man wants on his arm; and Gregg, the free-spirited actress with a secret yearning for domesticity. Jaffe follows their adventures with intelligence, sympathy, and prose as sharp as a paper cut.
Fun Fact: The original manuscript was copied by a group of typists at Simon & Schuster, who would excitedly read the chapters they were assigned and then call her to tell her they couldn’t wait to read the rest.