Monday, June 13, 2011

Caitlin Moran - new book....

..on top of everything else.  How does the woman do it??  Three nat newspaper columns - one of which she needs to watch back to back telly to write, additional regular lengthy features, high profile interviews - Gordon Brown, Lady Gaga etc etc- two kids under secondary school age, and now a book?  I don't get it.  Is she cloned for god's sake?

Fact is, I had been rather tiring of the sight. Over-exposure is an understatement.  It's almost like every wacky idea a Times editor has ever had in the last few years has been bunged at Caitlin, making her a regular cover girl, front page blurb, page one lead column, back cover sign off. 

Then she pretty much cleans up at the UK Press awards with three top accolades.

Moran is everywhere, something doubtless those down at Fortress Wapping (are they still there?) must be aware of?  Don't some of the other journos get a bit hacked (..) off?  Aren't some readers like me beginning to urge motherlike that she be given a break, so we don't all get Moran-fatigued.  Surely at this rate her own burnout is inevitable?  The wit will waver, the prolificacy wane, and she'll go the way of all those other one time wondrous female scribes - flogging freelance her wares to Red or Psychologies Mag.

It had began here already. Seeing her this weekend yet again on the front cover of Times Mag, blurbed yet again on the front page of the main section I had recoiled from more Moran, in the way you do from mojitos at a 1am lock-in.  The magazine sat for a couple of days, all its little sections consumed, while 'How to be a Woman' six page book excerpt got passed over. Until this morning.

Just before relegating it to the correct recycle bin I thought, babies napping, I'd have a quick skim.  And doing that I thought, hold on, this is funny and got a cup of tea, sat down and read it proper.

The woman's hilarious.  I'd forgotten. It's easy to see why they're bleeding her dry. Her memoir - which is what the new book seems to be, with a smattering of modern-day feminism humourously couched - is self-deprecating, warm, insightful and immediately engaging, her feminism a matter of fact shrug.  No in your face browbeating. Her writing just carries you along, generally prostrate, from a laughter-induced stitch.

An excerpt from the excerpt (she grew up, the eldest of eight children, in a council house in Wolverhampton):

"In my family, my fat family, none of us ever say the word "fat". "Fat" is the word you hear shouted in the playground, or on the street, - it's never allowed over the threshold of the house.  My mum won't have that filth in her house. At home, together, we are safe.  We never refer to our size.  We are the elephants in the room."

For that paragraph alone, I'll be buying her book.      


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