cover image Little Pink Slips

Little Pink Slips

Sally Koslow, . . Putnam, $24.95 (370pp) ISBN 978-0-399-15415-7

Former McCall's editor-in-chief Koslow features in her mellow roman à clef Magnolia Gold, who gets booted out of her magazine kingdom, but lands on stilettos that "you could almost mistake for Manolos." Magnolia, editor-in-chief of Lady magazine, has her dream job, a Cartier watch and a fab New York apartment, but Lady 's publisher and parent company president cozy up to gauche celebrity Bebe Blake and decide—against Magnolia's warnings that Bebe will alienate the mag's "red state Republican" readership—to turn Lady into Bebe and demote Magnolia to "corporate editor," a bogus position that's soon eliminated. (Bebe may remind readers of Rosie O'Donnell, who assumed Koslow's duties at McCall's once it was relaunched as Rosie .) As Bebe ravages the magazine, a down-and-out Magnolia orchestrates her return while she and best friend Abbey run through their share of nonstarter men. Abbey finds Mr. Right, and just as things are looking their bleakest for romantically and professionally flailing Magnolia, lightning strikes twice. Koslow's take on behind-the-scenes maneuvering will keep readers turning the pages of her debut, but her soft-focus on glossy magazine publishing (the same mani-pedis, shopping diversions and expensive meals circuit that have been catalogued elsewhere) feels reserved: the villains aren't especially vile, and the goodies are very goodly—call it a red state The Devil Wears Prada . (Apr.)