Jane's Revenge: Pratt Assistant Still Serves Her Master

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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Sorry, Lauren Weisberger: Another former Condé Nast assistant has broken your record for the most transparently vindictive roman á clef of all time. Book editors around town recently began receiving copies of Falling Out Of Fashion, a chick-lit novel by Karen Yampolsky, the longtime executive assistant to Jane Pratt. To say the book is thinly fictionalized would imply there was some degree of invention involved in writing it. In fact, virtually the only elements of Pratt's life that didn't make it into the book are the names of her real-life antagonists and any details that might have made them seem sympathetic or made her seem even partly to blame for her own downfall.

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Compare: In real life, Pratt started a magazine called Sassy, which folded; moved on to start one called Jane, which got acquired by Condé Nast; was forced out, only to save face by claiming she'd quit; was replaced by Brandon Holley of Elle Girl; and landed a gig on satellite radio.

In the book, Jill White starts a magazine called Cheeky, which folds; moves on to start one called Jill, which gets acquired by Nestor Publications; is forced out, only to save face by claiming she quit; is replaced by Bryce Bradford of Jeunne Fille; and lands a gig on satellite radio.



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