The Official Preppy Handbook edited by Lisa Birnbach

Photo: Lara Robby/Studio D

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The Official Preppy Handbook
224 pages; Workman Publishing
"My mother's name is Muffie, so already that's funny," says Wentworth, who believes that the 1980 tongue-in-cheek self-help manual offered early inspiration. "In comedy you look at your upbringing and try to find the humor in it, and this book helped me. I grew up in the world of boarding schools, and The Official Preppy Handbook was the first time I saw that you could make fun of that life. Years later I wrote The WASP Cookbook, which has recipes like prune whip and tomato aspic, with social commentary."
— As told to Lesley Gaspar