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Rona Jaffe


About the Author

Rona Jaffe was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1931. She was the daughter of Samuel Jaffe, a high school principal, and Diana (née Ginsberg) Jaffe, the daughter of Moses Ginsberg, the construction magnate who built the Carlyle Hotel. Rona was raised on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and was a lifelong New Yorker. She attended the Dalton School and graduated from Radcliffe College in 1951 at the age of 19. In her early twenties she worked at Fawcett Publications, starting as a file clerk and working her way up to associate editor. At twenty-five she quit her job to focus on a novel she had started about women in the publishing industry. In 1958 The Best of Everything was published by Simon & Schuster. The work, provocative and prescient, hit a nerve among readers, especially women, and became an overnight success and bestseller. The following year a film adaptation was released starring Joan Crawford, Hope Lange, Suzy Parker, and Diane Baker. Jaffe went on to write sixteen more books during her career including Class Reunion, Mr. Right Is Dead, The Other Woman, Family Secrets, The Road Taken, and The Room-Mating Season. In 1995, she established The Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards, a program to identify and support promising emergent women writers, which provided over $3 million in grants during its 26-year history. Jaffe’s legacy continues through her Foundation and its funding of important areas of societal and cultural need. Rona Jaffe died of cancer in 2005.

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