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First published: 1989

Publisher: Doubleday

Length: 339 pages


Available at:


The Boyfriend School

Our heroine has been burnt too often to believe in love—until a friend creates the perfect man for her.

Adapted for the screen in 1990 for a film starring Kyle Maclachlan and Jamie Gertz


Gretchen Griner is an underpaid, underappreciated photographer for the Austin Grackle, part-time lover of the alternative paper’s trust-fund editor, and major consumer of Cup O’ Soup. That is, until she meets Lizzie Potts, known to her adoring fans as Viveca Lamoureaux, romance writer extraordinaire. Lizzie has a plan for Gretchen and it includes transforming her brother Gus into Gretchen’s dream man, a rogue with a heart of gold. And an irresistible New Zealand accent and backstory. So Lizzie will give Gretchen Gus, Gus will give Gretchen the man of her dreams, and among this cast of marvelous misfits, someone just may discover the secret to true romance.

Bird’s novel was adapted into a 1990 screenplay for the film originally titled Don’t Tell Her It’s Me (later renamed The Boyfriend School), starring Kyle MacLachlan, Steve Guttenberg and Shelley Long.

25 Books to Remember, New York Public Library

The Boyfriend School

“Sarah Bird is a fearless madcap…falling-off-the-chair hilarious.” 

Los Angeles Times

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