Bushnell’s column in the New York Observer based on her life and relationships formed the basis of the hit HBO series Sex & The City. As the author of eight books, her latest Is There Still Sex In The City? was written post-divorce, precipitating a move from New York to Connecticut and The Hamptons. The book reveals Bushnell is still queen of the acronym – MAM (middle-aged madness), MNB (my new boyfriend), LOL (Little Old Ladies), SAPS (senior age players) – though she is also candid about middle-aged sadness, adjacent mothering and reproductive lifestyles …
MY MENTORS No-one. I wish I had had someone to take me under their wing. New York is not a place where people want you to succeed. You have to know your value and fight for it. VITAL CAREER STEPS Being seen on the scene; I was part of the Studio 54 crowd. I would go up to people and ask if they would give me a job. Sometimes they would. I really believed in what I was meant to do and kept going. ON GREY AREAS People who don’t have grey areas are quite scary. There are always going to be things you’ve got to learn. There isn’t a lot of examination of people’s lives in their 50s – it comes with a thump when they no longer hold agency in the world, which is one of the reasons why I wrote Is There Still Sex in the City? The world looks at you differently. Part of the life cycle is its grey areas – I think it’s about having a soul. CAREER JOYS Getting the first hard-cover copies of Sex and the City: I felt as if I had worked so hard for so many years that it was a very happy moment. But happy moments tend to come when you are by yourself. When I finish what I think is the final draft of a book that’s when I’m joyful. I used to go out and buy a bottle of champagne and drink it all myself. These days I only manage two glasses. I DON’T BOTHER WITH getting stressed about every little detail. Being with people often makes life complicated and it’s a lifeskill, learning to be alone. That’s what makes our 50s so poignant – when many of us realise we might be alone for the rest of our lives. I moved to Connecticut to get rid of the noise and I have to say I am very happy. PERSONAL JOYS small things excite me – my two standard poodles Pepper and Prancer are a sketch, especially when they try paddleboarding; getting together with my girlfriends and cooking for them. The friends in my book are meant to represent everywoman. I am still seeing MNB – my new boyfriend – and he is very romantic. Clothes are another pleasure; I see them as costumes. I have endless events and book tours so I am constantly shopping and it’s expensive. You cannot believe the standard in New York. I love going into stores such as Gucci where it’s all groovy music and rhinestones. It’s a bubble where you can forget other problems. FAVOURITE BLACK THINGS Being a New Yorker I have a lot of black clothes, they were the mainstay of my wardrobe for so many years as they were so practical and the city is so dirty. One of my latest purchases is a long black Roberto Cavalli gown. FAVOURITE WHITE ITEMS Shoes and boots. I just bought a white Stella McCartney dress in a sale.
Is There Still Sex In the City? Candace Bushnell, Grove Press, €18.10, is out now.
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