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Isabel Kaplan Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Hancock Park (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
NSFW / Not Safe For Work (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Isabel Kaplan is a literary fiction author from New York best known for her 2022 novel “Not Safe For Work.” The author went to Harvard and then to New York University, where she graduated with a creative writing MFA.

She made her fiction writing debut when she published “Hancock Park” in 2009 which went on to become a national bestselling title.

She is also one of the founders of “Project 100,” which works to support women candidates aspiring to be elected to Congress. Before that, she used to work at the Fox Broadcasting Company, where she was in charge of TV drama development.

The author was born in Los Angels but had a tortured relationship with the city. She has said that to enjoy LA, one needs to have a measure of suspension of disbelief which she never had.

While she grew up in Los Angeles, she was more interested in the politics of the city rather than Hollywood. By the time she was six, she used to dress for Halloween as Hillary Clinton.

She would then spend several years interviewing book agents before she published a young adult novel in 2009 when she was in her teens. She currently works as a book to film agent and lives in New York.

After graduating from college, Isabel Kaplan found a job as a temp at a TV studio which provided much of the inspiration for Not Safe For Work. She started out in a network as a floating temporary worker that was undergoing reorganization.

The organization started out in development, then went mainstream then standard, and ultimately concentrated on drama and comedy.

Starting out, she was nothing more than a glorified intern and her first few months were filled with confusion about what she was supposed to do.

She used to cover all manner of desks which can be scary since it is impossible to know what everyone is doing when you have to take their calls. Still, it was a great crash course in the specific etiquette and lingo she needed to learn.

It was a baptism by fire as she needed to learn fast what order to let people go when in a conference call, and what network they should turn on last among many other things.

She also learned that it was a huge sin to put the network executive before the studio executive among many other procedural faux passes.

Everything was an endless game but it provided a lot of fodder that she needed when she, later on, decided to document her experiences.

Isabel Kaplan started writing her blockbuster novel “Not Safe For Work” in 2017, shortly after Trump was elected president.

She had just quit her job in Hollywood since she intended to go to graduate school. It was also the time that she started examining her own complicity in systems that she had grown up trying to change.
She began retrospectively looking at the cognitive dissonance between what she believed she was fighting for, even as she worked and upheld systems that were very problematic.

Just like many women, Kaplan had been devastated by the events of the 2016 election, even though she now believes things have only worsened.

Following the election, she started realizing that she could no longer work within the system if she wanted to change things.

Even though she ensured that she was of unimpeachable character worked hard and was the best among her colleagues, that was not enough. She came to acknowledge that empowerment is a myth and that working within the system was a trap.

These were some of the thoughts swirling in her head when she began writing “Not Safe For Work.”

“Not Safe For Work” by Isabel Kaplan is a hypersmart, blisteringly sharp, and compulsively readable novel. It introduces a young woman, who just like the author, is trying to make it in Los Angeles and Hollywood but is not willing to sell her soul.

The unnamed protagonist in the novels seems like the epitome of success. She has recently landed a job with one of the leading TV networks in the city that most of her fellow college graduates would kill for.

She has a lot to learn as she is pretty much a greenhorn in the industry. She was born to one of the most prominent attorneys in the country who fought for female rights.

As such, she is more attuned to issues of gender dynamics rather than hits at the box office. However, she is known for her hardworking and resourceful nature and thinks she will learn everything she needs to soon enough.

Initially, she is motivated by the high adrenaline work environment, but as she climbs the ranks, she is forced to confront the reality that change can only come from inside her.

She finds that the points she raises only get traction when they are echoed by her fellow male colleagues.

She has often heard whispers of sexual misconduct and abuse. But her mother has told her to keep a low profile until she becomes the leader of the organization. It is a decision she thinks is morally questionable at worst and idealistic at best.

When her professional and personal lives collide she will need to decide between her career and the empowered woman she believes herself to be.

Isabel Kaplan’s novel “Hancock Park” introduces the spoiled and rich kid Becky. While she does not act spoiled, she has been known to take privileges such as having an expensive psychiatrist for granted.
She also takes lightly the fact that she can move and live in many expensive places such as the Four Seasons and get her medicine refilled whenever she feels like it.

But despite coming from a rich family, she still experiences all manner of teenage problems such as lack of popularity and loneliness.

She calms her anxieties using a variety of drugs to solve her mental problems among many other stresses and insecurities. When her best friend has to move away, she makes friends with the school’s most popular students.

However, this does not help her insecurity problems which only seem to grow. She soon finds herself in the middle of the usual drama of high school that involves alcohol, sex, and boys.

Ultimately, she has to confront the reality that she needs to choose between remaining insecure and drugged and embracing her intellectual abilities.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Isabel Kaplan

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