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Rona Jaffe (June 12, 1931, Brooklyn, New York – December 30, 2005, London, UK) was an American novelist.

Born in Brooklyn, Ms. Jaffe grew up in affluent circumstances on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the only child of Samuel Jaffe, an elementary-school principal, and his first wife, Diana (née Ginsberg). Her maternal grandfather was Moses Ginsberg, a millionaire construction magnate who built the Carlyle Hotel.

Jaffe wrote her first book, The Best of Everything, while working as an associate editor at Fawcett Publications in the 1950s. Published in 1958, it was later made into a movie, starring Joan Crawford. The book has been described as distinctly "pre-women's liberation" in the way it depicts women in the working world. Critic Camille Paglia noted in 2004 that the book and popular HBO series Sex and the City had much in common with Jaffe's novel in that the characters, who have similar lifestyles, are both "very much at the mercy of cads."

During the 1960s, in addition to writing more novels, she was hired by Helen Gurley Brown to write cultural pieces for Cosmopolitan with a "Sex and the Single Girl" slant.

In 1981 she published her controversial novel Mazes and Monsters, which depicted a Dungeons & Dragons-style game that caused disorientation and hallucinations among its players and incited them to violence and attempted suicide. The book was in part based on the largely apocryphal 1979 steam tunnel incident and dovetailed with Patricia Pulling's accusations in the 1980s that D&D and other role-playing games encouraged devil worship and other evils. The book was made into a television movie starring the young Tom Hanks.

Jaffe subsequently published six additional novels during her career.

She died in 2005 in London from cancer, aged 74.

Books by Rona Jaffe

  • The Best of Everything, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1958.
  • Away from Home, Simon & Schuster, 1960.
  • The Last of the Wizards (juvenile), Simon & Schuster, 1961.
  • Mr. Right Is Dead (novella and five short stories), Simon & Schuster, 1965.
  • The Cherry in the Martini, Simon & Schuster, 1966.
  • The Fame Game, Random House (New York, NY), 1969.
  • The Other Woman, Morrow (New York, NY), 1972.
  • Family Secrets, Simon & Schuster, 1974.
  • The Last Chance, Simon & Schuster, 1976.
  • Class Reunion: A Novel, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1979.
  • Mazes and Monsters: A Novel, Delacorte, 1981.
  • After the Reunion: A Novel, Delacorte, 1985.
  • An American Love Story, Delacorte, 1990.
  • The Cousins (Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selection), D. I. Fine (New York, NY), 1995.
  • Five Women, D. I. Fine (New York, NY), 1997.
  • The Road Taken: A Novel, Dutton, 2000.
  • The Room-Mating Season: A Novel, Dutton, 2003.

External links

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