The bestseller novelist in the genre of romance, Judith Krantz took her last breath on Sunday. She died of ‘natural cause’, confirmed by her publicist. Krantz was known for capturing the lavish lifestyle of rich and wealthy, in her creative pieces. Before selling a million copies of her novel, she worked as a fashion editor in popular magazines like Cosmopolitan. Born and brought up in a wealthy Jewish family, Krantz as a female writer was popular for her erotic and steamy romance novels.

Early life

Before becoming a novelist at the age of 50, Krantz wrote for Cosmopolitan and Ladies Home Journal magazines. The eldest of three children, Judith Bluma Tarcher was born in 1928 in New York City. Her father owned an advertising agency, and her mother worked as an attorney. Krantz enrolled herself at Wellesley College at age 16. In Wellesley, she was an average student and couldn’t score more even in the literature subject, But she never believed into marking system. In an interview with ‘The Boston Globe in 1982, she said, “I got only one A-plus, and that was in English. I had a B-minus in my major, and made C’s and C-minuses in everything else. But I didn’t come here to get good marks.” But when she could earn no better than a B in a short story class, she decided she wasn’t good enough to write fiction. She believed “if I couldn’t write ‘literature,’ I shouldn’t write at all.” Later she was motivated to write fiction novels by her husband at the age of 50. After being convinced with her work and getting so much love and appreciation from her audience she said “Now, I would say to young women, do something you have a true feeling for, no matter how little talent you may believe you have,” she added. “Let no masterwork be your goal — a modest goal may lead you further than you dream.”

“I got only one A-plus, and that was in English. I had a B-minus  in my major, and made C’s and C-minuses in everything else. But I didn’t come here to get good marks.” But when she could earn no better than a B in a short story class, she decided she wasn’t good enough to write fiction. She believed “if I couldn’t write ‘literature,’ I shouldn’t write at all.”

Krantz & Steve

Krantz married Steve Krantz, who was a millionaire television production owner. They were introduced to each other through a common friend in 1953 and in the following year they got married. “I fell in love with him the minute I saw him,” she once said.  Later, through his productions such as the animated film “Fritz the Cat,” he helped to translate his wife’s work for TV. Her sensational stories of high-powered heroines were reimagined for television as an episodic mini-series by Steve. She was happily married with two children Nick and Tony. Her husband died in 2007 at age 83.

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Her work

She started her career as a novelist very late in her life after being motivated by her husband. Her first novel — Scruples in 1978 — became a best-seller, as did the nine that followed. Krantz’s books have been translated into 52 languages and sold more than 85 million copies worldwide. They inspired a series of hit miniseries with the help of her husband, film and television producer Steve Krantz. While her work was decidedly less than highbrow, Krantz made no apologies for the steamy novels with titles like Princess Daisy, Mistral’s Daughter, Lovers, I’ll Take Manhattan and The Jewels of Tessa Kent. Her characters were famous for crazy rich lifestyle with lavish estates and branded clothes. Krantz lived a very parallel life to her characters. She unapologetically wrote about the sexual and erotic descriptions in her novels. “If you’re going to write a good erotic scene, you have to go into details,” Krantz told the Los Angeles Times in 1990. “I don’t believe in thunder and lightning and fireworks exploding. I think people want to know what’s happening.”

‘A Nice Jewish Girl’

In her autobiography Sex and Shopping: The Confessions of a Nice Jewish Girl, which was published in 2001, she said “In my opinion, there are two things women will always be interested in — sex and shopping,” she said in 1994. “And if they’re not, they’ve left out a large part of the fun in life.”

“She had this rare combination of commercial and creative.” said Tony Krantz, after losing his mother. On the demise of Krantz, many of her fellow writers expressed their remorse.

On being interviewed, she once said, “I always ask myself if what I’m writing will satisfy a reader who’s in a plane that can’t land because of fog, or who are recovering from an operation in a hospital or who has to escape to a more delightful world for whatever reason. That is the test.”

Divya Tripathi is an intern with SheThePeople.TV 

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