cover image Falling Out of Fashion

Falling Out of Fashion

Karen Yampolsky, . . Kensington, $19.95 (275pp) ISBN 978-0-7582-1700-4

Magazine junkies who remember the original Jane will devour this cheeky roman à clef by Jane Pratt's former assistant of nine years. Unlike Anna Wintour's alter ego in The Devil Wears Prada , Yampolsky's alter ex-boss is an off-the-rack heroine. Raised on a commune by inattentive hippie parents, Georgia girl Jill White was an outcast at her New England prep school before a predictably eye-opening stint at Bennington. After Jill descends on New York, a succession of magazine gigs leads her to editing Cheeky (i.e., '90s grrrl glossy Sassy ) and, eventually, Jill . At that eponymous publication, idealistic Jill goes up against bottom-line obsessed Nestrom Media (a thinly veiled Condé Nast). Fictionalizations of Pratt's personal and professional moments as editor-in-chief add frisson: Sassy 's skewering profile of actress Tiffani-Amber Thiessen becomes Cheeky 's roasting of "Kelli Hyer-Burke"; there are plenty of other cameos. In the end, Jill comes off as a sometimes selfish but mostly likable woman who gets beat by corporate magazine land. Survivors of the era, however, may question Jill's claim that she "coined the term grunge." (May)