Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Would-be Murderer, the Modest "Amateur", and the Brilliant Single Dad

If she had not become a writer, she would have been a murderer, reckons Joan Schenkar, whose biography The Talented Miss Highsmith : The Secret Life and Serious Art was published this week. Calling her our most Freudian novelist, Schenker explains that :
To her, love and death are closely related. She tends to murder people in her novels where she made love in real life.
In the New York Times piece, we are taken on a walking tour of Highsmith's Greenwich Village, not only her physical neighborhood :
... but also the dark and desperate territory of Highsmith’s psyche ...
Highsmith is best known for Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley, the first filmed by Hitchcock, and the second, which most of you I guess will have seen, by Anthony Minghella.

I'm just an amateur, really I am.

The incredibly modest 91 year old Diana Athill talks to Tim Adams in The Observer about how she still find it hard to consider herself a real writer since she enjoys writing so much, unlike the authors she worked with as a publsiher :
Writing is supposed to be torture isn't it? But I absolutely adore doing it.
Athill's latest book is Life Class, an 800 page compilation of her four books of memoir. (You can see her talking about the book here.)
Dear Daddy, to the world you are JG Ballard, celebrated and legendary author. But to us, your children, you are simply our own very dearest father, our best friend and our inspiration. We miss you so much
In a very touching obituary J. G Ballard's daughter Bea remembers her father who brought her and her siblings up as a single parent.

(Worth noting re. Peter Carey's switch off the TV Nanowrimo advice, Ballard saw TV as a positive influence and loved crime series, in particular CSI.)

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