The Guardian reports that Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen has topped a poll by Orange, the sponsors of the female-only Orange Prize for Fiction, as women’s best-loved women’s book. The news put me in mind of Bob Dylan’s song 1997 song Highlands, which contains the following exchange between the narrator and a waitress:
Then she says,”you don’t read women authors, do you?”
Least that’s what I think I hear her say,
“Well”, I say, “how would you know and what would it matter anyway?”
“Well”, she says, “you just don’t seem like you do!”
I said, “you’re way wrong.”
She says, “which ones have you read then?”
I say, “I read Erica Jong!”
Speaking for myself, one of the few “women authors” I have read is Jane Rogers, whose 1987 novel The Ice is Singing I found inspirational and very moving.
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There’s a lovely story in the Guardian too today about an amateur movie of John Lennon dicking about in New York in 1974 being put up for auction. The private footage, shot by a student who simply went up to Lennon and asked him if she could follow him around the city filming him all day, apparently includes shots of him taking over a New York ice-cream van and imitating baboons for startled children. Sounds like early Trigger-Happy TV.