Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Funny Girl Saralee Rosenberg

Who needs a laugh? Everyone! Yet women like me who write funny novels are considered the Rodney Dangerfields of publishing. We get no respect. Actually, we’re likened more to the childrens’ photographers at Sears. Everyone loves our work but rare is the reader who considers it art.

A few years ago, Jennifer Weiner took on Jonathan Franzen in a digital duel, arguing that chick lit and humorous novels by women were the bread and butter of publishing. They just weren’t all that much fun at the bank. She got nailed for bitching about the disparity between men and women authors, but she was right.

Why do you think that when J.K. Rowling wrote an adult thriller last year, she resurfaced using the man’s name, Robert Galbraith?

Historically, male authors have commanded the big advances, the talk show appearances and the take-a-bow reviews. Even male novelists who write funny, like Carl Hiassen and Joshua Ferris, get to don the matching club jackets, like NFL Hall of Famers.

It’s no joke.

Q. How many male novelists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Nothing happens for 450 pages; receives fourteen awards.

I raise the issue because I have just finished reading two Jonathan Tropper novels, THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU and ONE LAST THING BEFORE I GO. His work is a delight. Hilarious, honest, touching and filled with pathos. He deserves his success, including the film adaptation of THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU, due out in September.

Jonathan Tropper
I don’t begrudge him or any novelist success. I just wish that the double standard would die. Like Jonathan Tropper, my novels A LITTLE HELP FROM ABOVE, CLAIRE VOYANT, FATE AND MS. FORTUNE and DEAR NEIGHBOR, DROP DEAD are funny, heartfelt tales of Jewish families in distress. They also have been optioned for films and are beloved by book clubs, especially after the ladies have read one too many dark, literary (and often boring) novels.

Or as I often hear after a discussion, “When I read your book I laughed, cried and wouldn’t come out of the bathroom until I finished. When I read INSERT LITERARY TITLE, my mind drifted and I wondered if my Taco Bell coupons were still good.”

Not to worry! I am at work on a funny new novel that may be my best yet. I'm just not taking any chances. It will be submitted under a male pseudonym.


Seymour Butts

For a good time, visit Saralee Rosenberg's website. www.saraleerosenberg.com


  1. Saralee, what a delightfully refreshing post! You speak the truth--funny, but the truth.

  2. Thank you Laura. It's not easy out there for any writer... Just would like to feel a little more love.

  3. Great post, Saralee. And I definitely identify with the funny girl part. (Also love the joke!)

    1. Karin, you make me laugh with all of your posts. We're in this together!

  4. I loved the line about wondering when the taco bell coupons expired! I fear you might be right about funny girls...but I love your work so keep on making us laugh!

  5. JK Rawlngs. didn't use a female name for anything...JK? Hello? I've wondered too often what my success rate would be under LJ instead of Leslie. Right on, Saralee. And write on!

    1. Good point! In fact, JK could stand for just kidding... Thanks for your comments!

  6. "Not to worry! I am at work on a funny new novel that may be my best yet."
    Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Best news of the day!! (Only I hope you were joking about a pseudonym ... the world always needs another Saralee Rosenberg book.)

    1. Thank you, my friend. Don't know where I'd be without your endless love and support!

  7. What a great, and necessary post!

  8. Oh, Saralee, I'm a day late but not a laugh short. Thanks for making me smile!

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