Monday, September 21, 2015

What do Peter Carey and Lena Dunham have in common?

Well, yes; they're both award-winning writers. In fact Carey is touted as "Australia's greatest living writer". I don't know about that. He is a very good writer, certainly. But I am Australian, so...

Lena Dunham
 They are also similarly cheeky-geeky whites with BIG brains and bodies that - how to put this delicately - don't quite match up, though all bodies are equal, of course, just some more equal than others.

They have equally great smiles.

But this is not exactly what I'm getting at in asking what these two people of different ages, genders, nationalities, writing styles and career trajectories have in common. Rather, my purpose in bringing together these otherwise randomly matched people here, is to suggest that what they have most in common currently is me, or, to be more precise, the fact that I am reading their books simultaneously, as one does when torn between reading (and trying to write) quality, timeless, home-grown literature and cutting-edge, warts-and-all, female feminist memoir.

And, apparently, I am so torn, although I didn't exactly know I was until I found myself reading these writers' work simultaneously and not being able to settle into either book (Carey's Illywhacker, 1985, and Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl, 2014) for long, before feeling distracted by the other author, nagging me to make the switch back.

It's most unsettling I must say for someone with bi-polar tendencies as it is, and I would not recommend you try it at home. That said, I would recommend both books.

So, in conclusion, what these two writers have most in common is the fact that they are nothing at all like me, in knowing who they are and what they want. I have better legs, however; the ultimate asset for a writer.


  1. …and better arms, I might add.

  2. Well, if you insist, but I think I'd prefer Carey's, though not, perhaps, in their present vintage (72). Dunham's vintage would be better, but she can keep the ink. I'm much too pink for ink.