11 Aug 2009

The Michael King Memorial Lecture – Judith Thurman on biography

From Writers and Readers Festivals, 9:00 am on 11 August 2009

"Some glittering, eventful lives are in fact, repetitive and depressing… It's the drama of individuation which gives a biography its suspense, and cuts through the trivia of life to its vital mystery." Judith Thurman presents the Michael King Memorial Lecture, talking about some of her deep experience as a biographer of figures as diverse as Colette and Isak Dinesen - who was the subject of the award-winning movie Out of Africa. The difference between capturing the lives of a woman who was largely uncharted by biography, and one who lived in the glare of the public eye, the subject of many biographical works, is explored with humour and insight. Thurman also walks the audience through the intriguing process of her writing and rewriting the opening to an essay on tofu. "I don't know how to write. I'm not being disingenuous when I say that. What I do know is what good writing is and when I'm not doing it."

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