Vogue U.K. Editor Alexandra Shulman on Her Debut Novel
It’s official: we want to be friends with Alexandra Shulman.
The British Vogue editor in chief has just penned her first novel, titled Can We Still Be Friends. Set in ‘80s London, the book follows three post-university friends settling in to the real world.
"I very specifically wanted to write a book about very ordinary things: it wasn't magic-realism, it wasn't historical, it wasn't fantasy, it wasn't extreme—or about Vogue—it was the daily detail that I was interested in writing about,” Shulman writes at Vogue U.K. “Everyone who knows me would say that's what I'm interested in; incredibly mundane things whilst other people have incredibly imaginative thoughts. I like being at home, I'm fascinated by my small world; it's what I'm the most interested in."
There was a lot of multi-tasking for the editor, who says she worked every weekend, mornings, holidays, and the occasional lunch break. “It took just over a year and a half to write, which everyone tells me is quite a short time although it didn’t feel like it at the time,” she said.
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But though she called the process a bit lonely, she said that’s what kept her going.
“I very specifically wanted to do it because I work in such a collaborative way and I think I wanted to do something that was my own,” she said. “That was a motivating factor.
"I hope it's an enjoyable read,” she continued. “I intended it to make quite serious points but in an incredibly light way. My brother described it as 'chicken lit'—old people's chick lit. He hasn't read it, actually."
Can We Still Be Friends will be available on April 19.