According to Candace Bushnell (64), the mastermind behind the cult book, movie and television series, Sex and the City, her goal as a writer was not necessarily to New York Times-hit list and sell millions of books, but simply to make women start thinking differently about their lives.
Yes, her literary dreams and ambitions were big, she says in her successful solo show, True Tales of Sex, Success and Sex in the Citywhich was shown in Johannesburg and Cape Town in September.
Although her dreams of receiving the Pulitzer Prize or pursuing a family life never came true, her goal of empowering modern women not only came true, but became a global success, changing the narrative for women in the 1990s. swung over.
“The biggest and best response I get from women everywhere is that the books or series allowed them to think about their love lives and careers in a different, freer way,” Bushnell tells RNews about the legacy of her writing.
Sex and the City started as a newspaper column that she for The New York Observer wrote from 1994 to 1996.
It later became a book and an extremely successful TV series. Two full length Sex and the Citymovies, as well as a new HBO television series, And Just Like Thatfollowed later.
The character of Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker in this series, was inspired by Bushnell’s own experiences in New York and is often considered her alter ego.
In True Tales of Sex, Success and Sex in the Citythe author takes audiences on a stylish whirlwind tour of her successful career and exciting life in New York with hilarious anecdotes and a pink Cosmopolitan mixed drink in hand.
She also reveals which Sex in the City-moments that corresponded to her own life – something that fans of the original television series will especially enjoy and perhaps make their eyes widen.
She says that the idea for it was developed in 2018 while she was working on her most recent book, Is There Still Sex in the City?, wrote. Although she sold the book to Paramount, she decided to retain the stage rights to her work and consequently began to develop a one-woman show.
“I always say ‘yes’ to new opportunities, so when a producer asked me to start writing a script, I agreed and things just started building from there.”
She describes the decision to bring this show, which made its debut in the USA in 2021, to South Africa as an “irresistible opportunity and a wonderful experience”.
The stage play is, as it were, Bushnell’s way to properly socialize with her audiences around the world and her favorite part remains the audience interactions.
Guests who have brought a large group of friends, or are celebrating a birthday, are welcomed and congratulated by name right from the stage – a privilege that South African audiences are not used to when it comes to international talent.
“The women I met in South Africa were incredibly warm and welcoming. Many people dressed up specially and came to enjoy the evening with their best friends. There is a real sense of inclusion here which is wonderful.”
Her best piece of advice for women, regardless of their ages, nationalities or marital status is to empower themselves.
“I always advise women to find their own ‘Mr. Big’, rather than chasing him,” she says, referring to the Sex and the City-character, Carrie’s great love interest.
Despite her ten successful books, the various series and films that have flowed from them and her solo show, Bushnell’s newspaper column remains for the The New York Observer the work she is most proud of.
“I always knew I would do something that would have an impact, but I wasn’t sure what it would be. The column was the highlight because it brought together fifteen years of work on women and men, relationships and power and was my big breakthrough. The energy and work that flowed from it only propelled me further. I look forward to seeing what the future holds.”