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 Trophy Wife Books


ęCopyright 2002-2008
[Shawn Nacol]
All rights reserved


Here are some Trophy Wife appropriate books:


Training manuals for the would-be homewrecker:

How to Marry the Rich

by Ginnie Polo Sayles

Ingram:  "An "expert" on marrying the wealthy offers the aspiring "kept'' woman or man advice on where to meet a rich person, how to get noticed by one, and ultimately, how to parlay this meeting into a profitable trip to the altar."

How to Snare a Millionaire
by Lisa Johnson

Ingram: "We all want to be pampered, spoiled, indulged, coddled, and basically have riches lavished upon us by wealthy admirers. Unfortunately, millionaires don't fall from the sky directly onto our laps. As Lisa Johnson knows, one has to work to get them. a book that provides everything one needs to know to snare a millionaire, from where to find them to how to keep them."

How to Marry Money: The Simple Path to Love and Glory

by Ruth Leslee Greene

"Simple...?"  Ahem.

The Rich Are Different
by Jon Winokur

Amazon: "Outrageous facts and anecdotes that Jon Winokur has assembled in this eye-popping field guide to the habits of the equestrian class. From the schlock of the Nouveau to the stinginess of Old Money, here are the follies and foibles of such plutocrats as William Vanderbilt and Leona Helmsley, Aristotle Onassis and Doris Duke. You'll learn how the super-rich get, conserve and squander their fortunes; how they thwart tax collectors, buy legislative bodies (not to mention entire countries), and literally get away with murder."

Philistines in the Hedgerow

by Steven Gaines

Publisher's Weekly: "The Hamptons, that famous string of beachside hamlets in New York State, are not just a quiet vacation spot for New England blue bloods like the duPonts and Vanderbilts, they're also--surprise!--a sandbox of scandal. This book is a Champagne truffle: sinful, enticing, and pure froth at its center."

Gold Digger's Guide: How to Marry Rich
by Thomas Schnurmacher

A dishy, funny book that swivels between cattiness and "advice."


Outclassing the Competition: The Up-And-Comer's Guide to Social Survival
by J. L. Darling


The Very Rich Book: America's Supermillionaires and Their Money--Where They Got It, How They Spend It
by Jacqueline Thompson


And two books, which weren't published when I was writing, and haven't read but which I felt should be included here for the sake of completeness


The Trophy Wife Trap: Creating a Life That Matters

by Carol Setters

From the jacket:  "Women who are married to wealth or power can easily be overwhelmed by the intense dynamic of their high-achieving husbands. Intelligent, talented women with bright futures find themselves losing ground in their own careers or personal goals in the shadow of their "bigger than life" husbands, and in an unsuccessful effort to regain a sense of meaning in their lives, turn to the distractions of money. Trophy Wives exposes this unfortunate pattern, and offers guidance to any woman who has trouble holding ground in a relationship with a powerful man."

You can also check out an excerpt here.


Second Wives: The Pitfalls and Rewards of Marrying Widowers and Divorced Men
by Susan Shapiro Barash

From the jacket: "Second wives are often plagued by problems ranging from intrusions by their husband's ex-wife to the logistical horrors of sharing children over the holidays. With the divorce rate at over 65 percent, such issues are a growing reality for many women."

The authors, a husband-and-second-wife team, use clinical case studies and informative vignettes to highlight distinctions between a healthy second marriage and one tarnished by what they term "ghostly intrusions" from a prior marriage. Using self-diagnostic quizzes throughout the book, readers will learn to develop and customize workable techniques for resolving their second-wife issues."



Screwball Comedy books:

by Ed Sikov, Molly Haskell

From Publishers Weekly: "During the 1930s and early '40s, Hollywood "screwball comedies" had their heyday. Characterized by the substitution of "comedic" animosity or violence for affection and sexuality in male-female interactions. This oversize volume, illustrated with 240 black-and-white movie stills and publicity shots, examines the weird world of screwball comedy--a world where, as freelance film journalist Sikov writes, "hatred is no reason to give up on a relationship." Filled with breezily perceptive opinions and succinct plot encapsulations. A screwball filmography is included."

Gorgeous photos & clever text...Very inspiring.

Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage (Harvard Film Studies)
by Stanley Cavell

Fascinating study of screwball focusing on the recurring theme of comic characters who marry "wrong" and more than once. Special focus on the "midsummer" model of escape from civilization into the metaphoric woods to sort out complications. Can be slow going at points, but very insightful.

The Screwball Comedy Films: A History and Filmography, 1934-1942
by Duane Byrge, Robert Milton Miller, Arthur Knight

Fast-Talking Dames
by Maria DiBattista

Benjamin Schwarz, Atlantic Monthly: "This is a smart book about very smart women."

The Runaway Bride: Hollywood Romantic Comedy of the 1930s

by Elizabeth Kendall

From Library Journal: "Kendall's 1990 volume examines the screwball comedies that flourished during the 1930s as a means of countering the harsh realities of the Great Depression. Many of those films featured women either married or betrothed who revolt against the men in their lives, with their stories at the core of such hits as It Happened One Night, The Awful Truth, and other Hollywood gold. The text is supported by numerous monochrome portraits of the stars and some behind-the-scenes shots."

Lunatic and Lovers: A Tribute to the Giddy and Glittering Era of the Screen's "Screwball" and Romantic Comedies
by Ted Sennett


Screwball Comedy: A Genre of Madcap Romance
by Wes D. Gehring



Legendary trophy fiction...

The Portable Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker: Collected Stories

Dorothy Parker: Collected Poems

Superlative. No one comes close to her acerbic wit, tortured wisdom and poetic sensibility. Phenomenal prose and poetry. When young actresses ask for monologues I often recommend they look at Diary of a New York Lady. PHENOMENAL material and fresh as the day it was typed.

Amazon: "Before there was practically anyone, there was Dorothy Parker. When it comes to expressing the pleasure and pain of being just a touch too smart to be happy, she's winner and still champion after all these years."



Gentleman Prefer Blondes &

Gentlemen Marry Brunettes

by Anita Loos

Hilarious. Caustic. True. Both of these books are a complete delight from start to finish. Two of the funniest books ever written in the English language. James Joyce, in the years of his failing eyesight, "spent" his few permitted daily reading hours reading Ms. Loos' output as it was published serially in magazine.  They are the basis of plays and musical and movies. But nothing compares to the original Loos prose. n.b. an excellent gifts for adolescents who have begun to adopt the "over-it" pose.

Breakfast at Tiffany's

by Truman Capote

Bittersweet and wise and 100% Capote at his best. A fast read that will stay with you a long time. Holly Golightly is one of the great fictional creations of the 20th century. VERY different from the excellent film of the same name: racier, sadder and ultimately wiser than Hollywood could have been.


by Colette

Amazon: "Gigi is the story of a young girl being raised in a household more concerned with success and money than with the desires of the heart. But Gigi is uninterested in the dishonest society life she observes all around her and remains exasperatingly Gigi. The tale of Gigi's success in spite of her anxious family is Colette at her liveliest and most entertaining."

Vanity Fair

by Thomas Thackeray

A must-read comic novel about one of history's great proto-Kitties!

Amazon: "Among the vibrant cast of characters who scheme and scramble for life's prizes in this entertaining saga, no one is better equipped than Becky Sharp, Thackeray's supreme creation. Brilliant, alluring, and ruthless, she defies her poverty-stricken background to climb the social ladder, while her sentimental companion Amelia longs only for caddish soldier George. As the two heroines make their way through the tawdry glamour of English society during the Napoleonic wars, military and domestic battles are fought and fortunes are made and lost. Amid the fast-paced comic action stands Dobbin, a true gentleman in a corrupt world, whose unrequited love for Amelia brings pathos and depth to Thackeray's epic satire."

Madame Bovary

by Gustave Flaubert

Flaubert's masterpiece is sweeping death-knell for Romanticism that manages to be wildly Romantic. Essentially the saga of a would-be trophy wife who makes some big boo-boos. A cruel, dark book packed with brutal irony. If you've never read it, you'll be surprised how racy and gripping a story it is. If you have read it, you've probably forgotten how spectacular it is. If you wind up loving it, definitely check out his erotic/barbaric spectacle: Salambbo!!


Fuel for fantasy... (the Trophy Wife equivalent of porn)

Vera Wang on Weddings

by Vera Wang

From Publishers Weekly: "For many a bride-to-be, "gown by Vera Wang" conjures an image of style and luxury and above all a feeling of elegance. Vera Wang on Weddings is an examination and explanation of the whole event. from proposal to honeymoon, full of advice and anecdotes. The designer and former Vogue editor says that even though the tradition is centuries old, each wedding is an individual event shaped by those involved, and anything is possible today. Her gowns and design ideas are splendidly displayed in Paolo Roversi's photography, and the photos from her own and other weddings add to the luxurious, intimate feeling of the book."

Vera Wang on Weddings

New York Affairs: A Guide to Planning the Perfect Party

by James J. Clark

Guide to ultra-slick entertaining in Manhattan...


Town and Country Elegant Weddings

by Stacey Okun

"...a collection of the best of the best in opulent weddings, including a special section on second weddings." -- Associated Press


Town and Country Elegant Weddings 



As I've discovered these "guides" for would-be trophy wives, I keep asking myself WHO ARE THESE AUTHORS? If you're a published "expert" on the subject of bilking matrimonially-inclined millionaires, doesn't that undermine the entire enterprise? Aren't would-be grooms a little put-off? What exactly gives you the credentials to advise someone on becoming a "husband-stealing hussy" anyways? And what is the success rate of their readers?


I'm a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I keep his house.

Zsa Zsa Gabor


Eventually, I'll get around to making a links page for the screwball comedies I especially love...

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