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The many masks of authenticity

A somewhat surreal interview between Romana Koval and Bret Easton Ellis, a little like when Parkinson and Meg Ryan were not quite on the same page. Meanwhile Kathy Lette schooled Simon Marnie in the finer points of quip-lashing.
Ramona asked a Book Show kind of question, and B-E-E mused about watching “this woman, what is her name?” “Delta Goodrem” and noticing how hot she is and how she stomped about, and her lyrics that say how her persistence made a difference. “So I tweeted this and went to bed and then awoke to a fuselage of tweets,” he said. One said saying ‘I am sorry she had cancer but I still think she is a sow,’ and another saying ‘I’ve always respected you as an author but if you like that woman you will lose my respect’. Interesting, the degree of possession that readers can feel they have over a writer.
You might be too old for her Ramona suggested. There was some discussion of who her partner was and an audience member clarified that.
Ramona set out another question, elaborately constructed. B-E-E said he’d been watching Music Max and weren’t Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet so gay.
At the point where Ramona had put her questions down on the sofa. B-E-E said he had never done this kind of event before, and said “I want to be authentic.”
He talked about New York and the literary scene where, “ I am not so good.
“I am brilliant in LA, he said.
Looking forward to Simon Marnie’s session with B-E-E on Sunday morning at the festival to see what we learn about B-E-E. It’s not that I think an author is obligated to tell us every detail of their own life story but I am curious. B-E-E has been traveling a lot lately. He was all over in the press in the UK when I was there a couple of weeks ago, and my question is how does he manage to keep writing amid the travel and appearances?
Marnie interviewed Kathy Lette in a special audience last night. I’d never quite seen past the quip-lashings but always felt the press she received in the UK was a bit scathing, and somewhat unoriginal – predictable looking down the nose at Australians, pronounced something like Awe-Stralians. But behind that is a woman who started to write as a teenager and (co)wrote a book in Puberty Blues that resonated with young woman. And she has worked as a writer ever since, on books, one that is being made into an opera, and in Hollywood, and even I recall, admitting some degree of envy, as writer-in-residence at The Savoy Hotel in London. But mostly, although packaged as chick-lit, Lette writes about the every day kinds of subjects women might talk about with friends or not at all. She travelled to Byron with her sisters and her closeness and warmth when speaking about them is evident. I ask her how it is for her – the pull between the UK and here.
It’s a nightmare she says, and she’d rather move back here because it’s gorgeous here, “don’t you think so?”

Marian Edmunds


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