With a few exceptions (the Brontës, the Amises), there’s not much evidence that superior writing ability runs in the family. Still, for the not especially talented children of our publishing elite, the book deal has become a birthright. Below, Radar‘s roundup of the literary wonder brats who coasted to lucrative book deals with a little help from mom and dad.

Molly Jong-Fast
Now, even the offspring of steamy sex novelists get to have their overheated scribblings published. At age 18, Erica (Fear of FlyingJong‘s daughter Molly sold her pink-sleeved paean to self-indulgence, Normal Girl, to Villard Books. The novel actually features a character who says, “I’m a crazy cocaine addict with a hankering for heroin, but other than that, I’m just a nice Jewish girl from the Upper East Side with Prada shoes.”


Blurb from Mom’s friend:
“Relish the humor of this generation’s new Dorothy Parker.” —Kitty

The Critics:
“Cartoonish, derivative, and immeasurably too familiar.” —Kirkus
“Glib and forced … Superficial.” —Publishers Weekly

Nick McDonell
At 17, the Harvard-educated son of Sports Illustrated editor Terry McDonell wrote his first middling imitation of Less Than Zero. At 21, he completed another. Both were best-sellers. Both were published by his younger brother’s godfather, Grove/Atlantic president Morgan Entrekin.


Blurb from Dad’s friend:
“[McDonell is] the real thing … I’m afraid that he will do for his generation what I did for mine.” —Hunter S. Thompson
The critics:
The Third Brother gropes awkwardly to find its subject matter.” —New York Times