Join author Lynn Barber for the discussion of our February Book of the Month.. AN EDUCATION (Tue 23 February 8pm)

(90 Posts)

Lynn Barber's memoir, An Education (27 votes), has won our February Book of the Month poll, beating Liz Jenson's The Rapture (25 votes) and Sabrina Broadbent's You Don't Have to Be Good (22 votes).

We'll gather here to discuss the book on Tuesday 23 February, 8-9.30pm.

We're hoping that Lynn will join us for part of the evening and answer questions - will keep you posted.

For those who missed it, here were February's Book of the Month choices (and for anyone new to Bookclub, here's how it works).

MrsPotiphar Sat 27-Feb-10 22:18:46

wel i wish i had seen the movie first and then ahd the webchat.

grrr

Lynn - what happened to " david" after he and you finished.
what do you think ( in hindsight) was his plan - would he have committed bigamy?

oh bum,missed it

squeaver Wed 24-Feb-10 08:19:34

Wow, she was fab.

elkiedee Tue 23-Feb-10 22:01:02

I missed the discussion again, no surprise there, was upstairs settling baby and then staying in the bedroom with him for a wee while.

I enjoyed the book too, probably the chapters on her journalistic career including Penthouse were the most fun to read (even though I don't really approve of porn magazines). And I didn't find the last part cold, it was a complete contrast with what had preceded it and it was very sad, but quite matter of fact. I think it's quite impressive to set it out so clearly among so much sadness, and possibly some anger - some aspects of his hospital care right at the end were a bit worrying.

I would have liked to see her answer the question about education, but think that what happened to her with the end of her school education was appalling, and was relieved that she managed to sit her exams and get out to college anyway. I don't know if some private schools would still have that much power, but hope that schools wouldn't be so quick to try and kick someone out.

Apologies to all those whose questions weren't answered, Lynn had told me beforehand that her computer isn't the fastest.

champagne/carrie: wanted to add how relieved I was too about the innocent photo. It would have been one hell of a bleak ending otherwise.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 23-Feb-10 21:06:04

Oh there you go, you came back and answered my question - thank you again! And do stop by any time.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 23-Feb-10 21:03:05

Thanks very much for coming on, Lynn. Do come back any time you fancy (to answer my question grin).

LynnBarber Tue 23-Feb-10 21:02:06

Justine - thanks, and it was Nick Hornby who spotted the Granta piece. I was v happy to let him write it - I occasionally made small suggestions but nothing more - must go now. thanks to everyone.

TeaOneSugar Tue 23-Feb-10 21:00:11

Thanks Lynn.

Lynn, thank you very much indeed for coming on and thanks too for a brilliant book. Look forward to reading whatever is coming next (and fingers crossed for a gold statuette).

SuSylvester Tue 23-Feb-10 20:59:15

ooh i like a leibnitz
I come over all "Kaffee und Kuchen gemutlich" when i have one.

maryjane71 Tue 23-Feb-10 20:59:05

Thanks to you Lynn, looking forward to your column(?) in the ST this Sunday.

LynnBarber Tue 23-Feb-10 20:57:29

Tilly: probably Philip Roth now so many of the other great Americans have died.
Must sign off now because my computer is getting slower and slower, and I have to do something else at 9.
you didnt ask my favourite biscuit! anyway it is chocoleibnitz dark.
Thank you v much to everyone - that was good fun

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 23-Feb-10 20:54:27

Hi Lynn, loved the book and the movie too which I saw before reading it. Who was it who spotted the potential of that chapter - had it been separately run in Granta?

It's amazing how Nick Hornby fleshed it out into a movie, I think don't you? You say that you had the nous to put a clause in the contract allowing you to comment over the script. Does that mean there was a lot of to and fro/ revisions then? How long did it take? It must be hard letting someone else do the writing when you're a writer yourself, did you at times just want to grab the thing and re-write it in your own words?

(Thanks so much for coming on).

Emmmm Tue 23-Feb-10 20:52:31

It's good being reminded of bits of the book (like the lobsters!)- i read it a few weeks ago and so it's not as fresh. I was quite shocked about the lunches/expenses stuff. Having recently read another very thin book by i can't remember who (emails to her freinds as she was dying from cancer with twins), i thought her husband wrote very honestly and refreshingly about her dying and the distance between them etc which came back into my head when you wrote about david's illness. The worst part of your book was that it was so slim - read it in just two days (with 9 month baby) - guess i wanted even more. Will you do a Diana Athill and write more meomoir as you get older?

maryjane71 Tue 23-Feb-10 20:51:48

How old were you in the photo on the cover of the book? I guessed about 15 but there is a glass of red there!

One last literary question: which living writer do you enjoy most?

LynnBarber Tue 23-Feb-10 20:51:15

Tilly: not weird seeing it on screen because Id read all Nicks drafts beforehand and knew about the changes from my story. But seeing my school recreated was a bit weird.

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 23-Feb-10 20:50:09

Thanks for your answers, Lynn.

What do you reckon to Kindles, the iPad etc? Do you think newspapers and mags will manage to survive the next technological shift? And do you think there's still the same appetite among readers for interviews, now that so many people have their own blog, websites etc?

(And do you prefer mags or novels for reading in the bath?)

duffy Tue 23-Feb-10 20:49:20

Seem to recall a head teacher called Miss Smalley who reeked of booze. But unlike you, I gather, I enjoyed all the sport - your description of lax made me chuckle a lot by the way grin.

Thinking of Becky Sharp, was she a sort of role model in your early years? (I'm just remembering the moment in the book where you say David is fundamentally 'good', whereas you had learnt to lie due to the relationship with Simon. And also the part where you describe being desperate to sound sophisticated)

LynnBarber Tue 23-Feb-10 20:47:57

maryjane: yes, the mail on sun published extract

champagnesupernova Tue 23-Feb-10 20:45:38

Carrie, me too about the photo.
Although also something very tragi-comical i.e. real life about trying to find a photo SANS lobster

LynnBarber Tue 23-Feb-10 20:44:59

Hi Ottavia - how was LEH in your day? didnt enjoy ST the first time simply bec I didnt like my editor but its OK this time. I thought the Obs was going to suffer death by a thousand cuts, tho actually I was wrong. But NOWHERE in journalism is as lavish as when I started!

A few more questions from earlier (apologies Lynn if you are already answering):

champagnesupernova: Was it WEIRD watching this interpretation of your life onscreen?

What's been the best and/or coollest thing to come out of having got everything down on paper and now celluloid?

carriemumsnet: do you think the disastrous affair early on affected the way you related to people for the rest of your life?

Also did the title of the book come easily, or did you agonise over it. Did you have any alternatives?

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