It's actually the other way around...then I found her. Elinor Lipman that is. I don't know how I've missed her work all of these years. Maybe too many books--too little time syndrome. However I went to see the new film of her first novel THEN SHE FOUND ME and was thrilled. Helen Hunt (pictured here), Colin Firth (who's endearing even when he's not in a Jane Austen movie), a perfectly infantile Matthew Broderick and a greatly contained and effective Bette MIdler embody the Lipman story so fully I was still missing the characters the next day.
I know it's an iffy proposition to turn your novel over to Hollywood but congrats to Lipman for her good fortune in getting Helen Hunt as actress and director.
The story is of a woman at a major crossroad in her life---the end her childbearing years, the death of her adopted mother, the failure of her marriage to a childhood sweetheart and that's before Bette Midler shows up! It's funny but it's also emotionally engaging.
Most importantly it's about women---their choices and their challenges. A recent article in the NY Times quoted some movie exec saying his studio couldn't make anymore movies starring women, they didn't make enough money! Then quoted him denying he said it!!! And this summer we can look forward to "Iron Man, "Batman," "The Hulk (man), and "(Mr.) Hancock " no pun intended.
Adult female characters and our stories are scarce, and good ones even more so. Lipman gives us just those characters and Helen Hunt brought them to the screen successfully. They are not 'princess' figures, American Dolls, or Lolitas but women meeting each day w/out perfect makeup and hair. They are dealing with the messiness of desire and learning how they can be either trapped or liberated by it.
The movie has sent me to the novelist's website: http://www.elinorlipman.com and will send me to the bookstore to read more.