Julie Myerson - why am I not surprised that a book has materialised concerning her own son's drug issues?(1001 Posts)
Read this is in today's Observer www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/mar/01/julie-myerson-novel-drug-addiction
Does anyone else have the uncomfortable feeling that I have on learning that she is writing about her son's drug problems? I know that writers often mine their own personal experiences for material but I think she's putting her literary endeavours ahead of her son here. From what I can gather, he is still young, his drug issues are ongoing, and although he is out of the family home, surely this is risking any possible future reconcilliation? I also baulk at the way she "weaves historical research about Yelloly with her disturbing account of her son's ejection from the family home" It just smacks of middle-class-writer angst.
My cynicism is further fuelled by my very strong suspicion that Julie Myerson is the author of Living with Teenagers - but that's another story...
Threadworm I think he also wrote books about his children! RD Laing that is.... don't know if it had a bad effect on them though.
Good grief. What next - 'The Myerson kitten: my story'?
First illustration for the 'MN Guide to the Myersons' - broken sparrow
DandyLioness, it's another example of no boundaries, and how such crappy parenting passes on from generation to generation until someone stands up to it.
I don't believe the sister either. Although I can slightly imagine a father (of my generation's, same as JM) sticking tongue in ear as a 'joke', you only have to read the thread about 'what our parents did' on here to see that. Whether it had more sinister undertones is debateable.
Agree re the crappy parenting.
i have a little crush on cherryblossom now. [damaged]
MorningPaper is just exercising her natural interest in Jake Myerson this fascinating debate on literary ethics
He's certainly right that in now at last admitting that she wrote the original column it rather upsets their current argument that there was a serious public interest in the book.
"They've stuck their necks out and realised they've made a very bad move,' he says, 'so they are trying to draw attention away from themselves and onto their opponent.
'They are trying to suggest that they published The Lost Child with such innocence, to help other families, to save other children - treating me like I'm some kind of holy sacrifice. But they've done all this before. It's just another betrayal."
they should all go on Jeremy Kyle "mum why did you hawk me about like a commdity"
Hmmm, I wasn't sure on that one either, Dandy! Not on pubescent girls anyway... But I suppose it's all about context so how can we judge if we were not there? It could be harmless fun, like tickling, or doing that thing where you pretend to bite your kids, like a snapping turtle, to make them scream with mock fright/delight or it could be seedy and deeply inappropriate.
I agree with Bagsforlife, I think Jake is already shaping up to be a novelist. I haven't read all their interviews/writings on the matter but it seems he has gone into competition with his mother over who can most eloqently describe how wretched the other is, and it's turned into a battle of the misery memoirs. For them both now I think it's less about who was at fault and more about who can come out of it with the moral high ground, and looking most clever. They both seem like narcicistic self-ingulgent drama queens to me.
Sorry, talking garbage there - too early! What I meant was it is ^no longer^ about the moral high ground, and all about each trying to trump the other intellectually with all this blood-letting.
"As an aside, does anyone on here think, like the sister does, that a father sticking his tongue in his daughter's ear (or his son's, for that matter) is 'innocent fun' and just a game?"
actually, yes, it can be. I haven't read the article but my dad used to chase me around the house for sloppy kisses and then lick my face. I'm not saying I really loved it, but it wasn't abusive.
Reading that, I thought, well, that IS what dads do, but there DOES come a point when that becomes YUCKY and that's because your own sexuality is developing - and that's when puberty hits and your role with your parents change. It's interesting that she said it struck her as horrible one day when was 13. Because that sounds like the normal development of a teenager to me - growing apart from her parents!
There's a (favourable) review of the book in the Telegraph by Jane (I used to write about my son Alexander in the Times) Shilling.
Not quite up to James Wood standards.
Did it say v. much about the book - other than that the Mary Yellolly stuff is a bit c*? Do you think she's read it?
I wondered whether she'd actually read it aswell.
Cynically, I think she's just sticking up for JM as another columnist writing about her teen son, although thankfully she stopped when he started playing up about his Latin GCSE amongst other things if I remember rightly.
Sorry - my post responding to bagsforlife.
Dandylioness - And, you know, I think it's impossible to judge the "truth" of something in fiction. Reading the interview with the sister and having read "Sleepwalking" the only conclusion I could come to was that Julie Myerson is a compelling writer. Her use of language is outstanding, her control of it is well above the average. Her sister's account just lacks the compelling quality of "Sleepwalking". "Truth" is a quality language can bestow; just another literary effect for those of us who are outside the event.
I just think it's weird that we're called on to make some sort of "judgement", when we can't know. And I think that's why it's so weird that, with this new book, she's effectively asking "us" to pass some sort of judgement on the situation with her child. Which is just weird. And unpleasant.
I do think the only "ethical" position is to try and refrain, or to be aware of the problems involved.
Bizarrely, for all her protestations, Shilling's article doesn't climb out of the "ethics of writing" pit, which is such a compelling part of this. Unfortunately, her grasp of the issue is so superficial, it's like watching a hamster deal with a Rubik's cube.
bagsforlife - totally agree.
[whisper - I feel absurdly sorry for her child too - even though it makes me feel like a bit of a muppet for getting drawn in ... .]
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