The Daria Diaries
The Daria Diaries was the first official Daria paperback book. It was written by Anne D. Bernstein and published by MTV Books and Pocket Books in January 1998. It is currently out of print.
The book is similar in layout to the 1993 Beavis and Butt-Head book This Book Sucks, most notably in its town overviews, childhood pictures and character introduction pages.
This book is followed by The Daria Database.
- A map of Lawndale (the MTV website map adds a few details to this one)
- Information on the move from Highland
- Part of a short story written by Daria
- Childhood "photos"
- Jake and Helen's "Vows of Commitment"
- Postcards from the "Wandering Lanes"
- A letter from Jake to his parents from Buxton Ridge Military Academy
Bernstein wrote this soon after the first season, and has stated "I had to make up a ton of stuff that did not yet exist for The Daria Diaries. And then it all became part of "the Daria Universe" so people had to follow what I established!". Examples of this include the full names of Mystik Spiral's members, the names Rita and Amy for Helen's siblings, the names of Adrian and Courtney for Summer Lane's children, Jane's parents being globetrotters, and Jodie's severe disgruntlement about having to be 'perfect'. Some, like Ultrasuave Universe and the vinyl of Behind My Eyelids, got nods on the MTV websites (which Bernstein wrote).
Effects on Fanfiction
The Daria Diaries, as well as The Daria Database, have provided additional information and different perspectives on characters and canon events that many authors have used and expanded upon for their stories.
These background tidbits range from one of Daria's early Halloween costumes to Mr. DeMartino's confirmed bachelor status to the name of Jake's military school. The map of Lawndale has been frequently used as well, providing settings for fics to use, as has the mention of McGrundy's Brew Pub (predating the Zon).
The most prominent of the Diary's entries used and expanded upon in fan fiction, is the first time she visited Casa Lane. While there she ended up helping Jane barricade the house to prevent delivery of a potential foreclosure notice; in many stories, it's assumed that the house would have foreclosed if not for Daria's aid. Combined with the general shabbiness/disrepair of the Lane home, the implied lack of food/condition of the freezer in the Lane refrigerator, and other factors from the show, this reference has helped to create the generally accepted Daria trope of the Lanes (or at least Jane and Trent) as just barely surviving at/near poverty levels.
Fanfics greatly inspired by the book include:
- "Card Games" by Kristen Bealer, based on a 'Masochist's Memories' photo of Daria at a sleepover because she has an adult library card
- "Forgotten but not Gone" by The Angst Guy, based off the map's mentioning of a statue of a forgotten figure
- "Shake, Shake, Quiver and Quake" by Kristen Bealer, about Jake's time at Buxton Ridge and his friend Randy