cover image Vanity Fair’s Women on Women

Vanity Fair’s Women on Women

Edited by Radhika Jones, with David Friend. Penguin, $30 (448p) ISBN 978-0-525-56214-6

This dazzling collection features 28 profiles of famous women, including politicians, artists, musicians, and actresses, from the last 36 years of Vanity Fair. The profiles, each of which was written by a woman, offer snapshots of their subjects at key points in time, often with remarkable prescience. For a 1992 piece about Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail stumping for her husband, author Gail Sheehy is present to witness Clinton watching Gennifer Flowers’s CNN interview on her affair with Bill, but more importantly, she captures her personality astutely, as the “tougher, cooler, and more intellectually tart of the two” Clintons. Amy Fine Collins’s 1995 piece on Audrey Hepburn explores how the legendary actress’s relationship with designer Hubert de Givenchy helped shape her career. In 1985, Tina Brown articulates the precise nature of Princess Diana and Prince Charles’s mismatch, 11 years before their divorce, while, in 1984, Janet Coleman finds Whoopi Goldberg, just prior to the release of The Color Purple, wrestling with the implications of stardom, as “she had never yet been censored and was concerned for her integrity.” This is an ideal collection for those who enjoy celebrity profiles with a bit more substance. Agent: Andrew Wylie, Wylie Agency. (Nov.)