This week's question:
- Have you ever met one of your favorite authors? Gotten their autograph?
- How about an author you felt only so-so about, but got their autograph anyway? Like, say, at a book-signing a friend dragged you to?
- How about stumbling across a book signing or reading and being so captivated, you bought the book?
So 'stumbling across a book signing or reading' is unlikely, and most authors on book tours really prefer to feel they've 'done' Australia by spending a couple of afternoons at chain bookshops in Melbourne and Sydney. Perth? Forget about it!
1. However, I did meet Germaine Greer* in the 1990s, after attending one of her lectures (with you, Karen!) publicising her book, The Change, about menopause.
A quotable quote came during public question time. Q: Is there such a thing as the male menopause? GG: No, and if there were, who'd give a shit?
I couldn't afford to buy her book - and the dreaded Big M was a long way off at that point - but Karen and I queued to get her to sign a piece of paper each, during which she managed to tell us that she'd seen Barry Humphries naked and 'You know the strange thing about him? He doesn't have a hair anywhere on his body. Not a single hair. Anywhere.' I still have her autograph.
2. I heard Louis de Bernières talk about his novel, Captain Corelli's Mandolin (
(*Germaine Greer is an Australian-born UK academic who wrote The Female Eunuch, the seminal text of the so-called second wave of feminism in the 1970s; brilliant mind, massive ego, tendency to be shrill; attitudes towards her outspokenness on topics ranging from Australian society to men have changed from 'Trust Germaine to tell it like it is' to 'Would someone please shut that bloody woman up?' as she has become more strident and, occasionally, spiteful.)