Author Jill Kargman and Mary Haft
At last night's book party at Ginger, surrounded by some of her closest friends (including Sharon Bradley, Mary Haft, Michelle Jaconi, Stacy Kerr and Susanna Quinn), Kargman was described as "irreverent" -- and she likes it!
"One review said the F word and I are BFFs," Kargman said. "And to that I say, if Chris Rock can say, then why can't a mom of three?"
Unapologetic about the language and clearly not experiencing writer's block, Kargmen dished on her dark-humored next project even as she was signing autographs for her current memoir release. "I got the idea for this one while my husband and I were at a party sharing which celebrity we would most want to sleep with."
Niteside asked her to describe her childhood and her well-known fear of clowns stemming from her childhood. (Her Amazon.com bio begins: "Jill Kargman is deathly afraid of clowns. And mimes. Wait, mimes are worse.")
“I had a really happy but wacky childhood with hysterically funny parents who made me LOL before peeps said LOL," Kargman said. "It was marred though by a kinda [John Wayne] Gacy-ish clown. I learned what rape was by watching a sicko clown deflower some poor chick on 'Little House' and never recovered. I don't know what's worse -- clowns or Nellie Oleson. Both haunt me. Then a clown murdered someone near me in New York, and of course there's just the inherent creepsville factor of a dude with makeup and a squeaky nose.”
Kargman describes her French-American mother as the epitome of style and grace, with a brilliant sharp edge who is queen of the zingers. Her dad did standup and she describes her brother Will as hilarious. “So we all laughed a lot," she said. "I'd say our neighborhood is very traditional, so my friends always loved to come over and always said how cool my parents were, which was fun.”
Until recently, maybe you could have called Kargman solely a chick-lit author -- or at least that’s how the world perceived her, but make up your own mind. The titles of her novels, some co-authored by Carrie Karasyov, include "The Right Address," "Momzillas," "The Ex-Mrs. Hedgefund," "Arm Candy."
Kargman, who still lives on the Upper East Side, is definitely reliving her childhood as much as she can. “My little ones go to the same nursery school and stuff, but I am less traditional than my parents -- I shoot guns and have tattoos, for example -- but I also have the values rooted in the way they raised me; manners are very important to me," she said. "We also take my kids all over the place to all boroughs all the time. I want them to be citizens of all of NYC.”
Niteside asked about her famous neighbors. “Andy Warhol was my next door neighbor until he died in 1987-- I saw him almost every day walking his dog and was obsessed with him. I see my idol Woody Allen all the time and I dedicated my new book to him because he is my comedy hero.”
Kargman loves it when her writing style is compared to Nora Ephron or David Sedaris because she worships both. Hey, who doesn’t?
One thing she doesn’t do like most other Upper East Siders is to try to keep up with the Joneses; bigger apartments, faster cars, homes in the Hamptons and all that jazz. “If you try to keep up in NYC, you’re gonna lose.” she said.