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Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Summer Camp Memoirs 

Publishers Lunch's weekly roundup of deals finally showed up in my mailbox. More comments later--tomorrow, probably--but this one, which I'd actually heard about a few days ago, caught my eye:

"Isabel Rose's THE J.A.P. CHRONICLES, about six women who met as girls at an elite Jewish summer camp, called a "fusion of Candace Bushnell and Jane Austen," to Deb Futter at Doubleday (with the paperback for Broadway), in a major deal, in a pre-empt, by Sally Wofford-Girand (NA). Film rights are with Liz Zeimska at UTA."

Oh god, where to begin. Well, for one thing, I didn't know that either Candace
or Ms. Austen were MOT....

Secondly, as someone who went to a far-from-elite Jewish summer camp at age eleven (and one even further down the totem pole the next two summers), I believe I am fully equipped to explain what this book will likely contain:

1. Campers eating "kosher-style" food*
2. A torrid scene around the campfire as the young campers listen with rapt attention to the sexual experiences of their older, far more wordly camp counsellor (who, remember, is probably only about 3 or 4 years older than the campers and likely hasn't done very much, in hindsight)
3. Lots of groaning about the upcoming canoe trip--which said campers never actually go on
4. Girls and boys "dating" each other after a furtive handholding session--or if the boys are lucky, french-kissing said girl and maybe, just maybe, getting to grope her breasts
5. Campers woken up in the middle of the night to engage in some reenactment of Pioneers' stealth entry into Palestine, and having to wash out all sorts of guck from their hair a few hours later
6. Eating far too many peanut butter sandwiches and hoping nobody got an allergic reaction
7. Parents showing up on Visiting Day to see their kids for the first time in weeks--while the kids just roll their eyes and hope Mommy and Daddy go away already

All this, of course, set against a backdrop of a sparkling lake, state-of-the-art equipment, horses, and a tennis court.

Look for this six-figure-winning prize on bookshelves next year.

(*I ate the real stuff. The camps I went to were too uncool to deviate from actual kashrut.)

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