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Julie Myerson - why am I not surprised that a book has materialised concerning her own son's drug issues?

(1001 Posts)
glasjam Sun 01-Mar-09 20:57:25

Read this is in today's Observer

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 Mon 16-Mar-09 18:02:42

You are so naive to think that the thread will stop at exactly 1000, Habbibu.

Habbibu Mon 16-Mar-09 17:59:16

Shamelessly <in true self-promoting fashion> aims for last post...

cb - train carriage in a wreck, surely?

cherryblossoms Mon 16-Mar-09 17:45:39

smile salome64

So, we approach the event-horizon - the thousandth post, when it all goes wibbly.

Just want to say adieu to all posters, with whom I feel I have shared a crowded train-carriage.

A fond bleat of farewell to all of you.


salome64 Mon 16-Mar-09 17:39:49

This whole saga has been a bit of market self-adjustment. Perhaps we will look back at the publicationof this sort of writing (both in newspapers and taken to the extreme, a la Myerson) with the same wincing disbelief with which we remember mini-pops. Did we really do that to our kids? And think it was okay?

Oh, support to cherryblossom, the angst I think comes from being made to witness the situation, and by bearing witness we become part of it, and so a very uncomfortable place to be.

abraid Mon 16-Mar-09 17:32:06

Thanks, Edam.

It's the smell that's the worst thing. I don't mind my son playing with skunks but that odour is just horrific.

edam Mon 16-Mar-09 17:25:37

top tips for skunk emergencies

Ponders Mon 16-Mar-09 15:29:17

"Lily had skunk in her mouth" shock

Habbibu Mon 16-Mar-09 15:22:32

And it just looked so harmless. <sobs>

Threadworm Mon 16-Mar-09 15:20:54

I lost my son to skunk

MarshaBrady Mon 16-Mar-09 15:20:01

Terrible isn't it, everyone has buggered orf - and there is still the pudding to be served!

Threadworm Mon 16-Mar-09 15:17:47

We are facing an emergency.

theyoungvisiter Mon 16-Mar-09 15:13:29

oh come on - we can't quit now with only 11 posts to go?! Chatter, you chattering classes, Chatter!

glasjam Mon 16-Mar-09 08:31:26

My God this thread is going to max out soon - 988 posts as I write - who would have thought?

Monkeytrousers1 Mon 16-Mar-09 08:08:19

Review of the book by Mark Lawson

"Detractors may say that the central allegation against Myerson - that her hunger for a good book has made her a bad mother - can be advanced without detailed reference to the text, but I suspect that many of those who have read or written about The Lost Child will be surprised - and perhaps chastened - by its contents."

2Eliza2 Mon 16-Mar-09 07:55:14

Well my PLR for last year was £600 and I'm far from being a Myerson author! Very far. ANd the amount is actually 5.98p per borrow.

So it's worthwhile. At least, to me.

edam Sun 15-Mar-09 22:54:52

oh yes, Zoe's foetus, same at mine. grin (Had to study it, didn't have to fall for it!)

beanorox Sun 15-Mar-09 22:19:47

I only wish writers did get this much every time a book was borrowed from a library. It doesn`t work like that. What happens is that the PLR system selects a number of libraries - I think it is about a dozen- across the country. These stay on the sampling libraries list for 3 years and in these sampling libraries ONLY every book borrowed is recorded. It is these records which are used to pay the author a small amount ( less than a penny ) every time a book of theirs is borrowed. In 3 years the libraries go and another set take their place - the list is varied according to size of place, geographical location, etc etc so it is as fair as possible. The amount any author can earn from PLR is capped at £6,600 but the vast majority registered earn less than £100.
It is a rough and ready system but better than nothing.
Ms Myerson`s book could therefore be borrowed by 10 million people from libraries but she could never get more than £6,600 and that includes borrowings of ALL her books not just this new one.

katje Sun 15-Mar-09 22:08:08

Love this thread so much..Just wanted to add - I'm sure someone has said this - that the thing that shocks me is that she must have been writing this book and the LWT column simultaneously, because she only stopped writing LWT last summer and the book must've been finished in spring. So she was mining the same source for a 'family emergency' book and an 'amusing vignette' column.

And why allow the columns to be made into a book if she was worried about the children finding out?

abraid Sun 15-Mar-09 22:07:24

I deliberately chose a university that did pretty well no literary theory or criticism at all in its English lang. and lit. degree course.

ZoeWilliamsSecondChild Sun 15-Mar-09 22:05:24

Oooh, I forgot: I am an anonymous foetus atm.grin So I can be rather rude and say that when I was at university the word 'bullshit' had the very specific meaning of 'continental philosophy'. grin

ZoeWilliamsSecondChild Sun 15-Mar-09 22:03:07

I don#t understand what you mean cherryblossom, about the novel aspects of faction. Can I ask the question edam implies: what makes this different from the long-established genre of literary (auto)biography?

The new aspect isn't the ambiguous nature of the bok's claim to truth, because lit biog too straddles two sets of 'truth' (literary and factual)in the sense you imply, doesn't it? And I don't understand the way lit crit makes a mystery of 'the Real' (why is it capitalised, hypostatised(sp)?)

I'm wondering whether what grabs you is the way that the book itself seems not quite to be the proper object of criticism (for you). Instead the object of criticism is the book's production and emergence into the media world? So that it becomes something like a piece of performance art in that the product is subordinated to the process, or at least is only one element of whatever it is that constitutes the object of criticism?

I've always felt a bit floored by lit crit. It seems to admire all the parts of philosophy that smug analytical philosophers are disparaging about. grin

Judy1234 Sun 15-Mar-09 22:02:47

(on the point above about can you write what you like about your young child... not if it's libellous. I don't see why a child cannot appoint its own lawyer or through the other parent sue if the publication would cause enough damage. There are two entirely separate issues - libel and then any privacy rights.

He could if he can show he didn't consent, may be get the profits from the book and then spend them on therapy or whatever else he thinks would help him.

I suppose if a youngish child is being damaged because its parent is publishing information about it that children are teasing it about at school it's more likely to become a question for social services than lawyers.

Interesting issues over the extent to which we fully own and control our children or instead borrow them.

He is certainly not lost.

spicemonster Sun 15-Mar-09 21:39:49

I am enjoying the slant this thread has taken. It's like wandering into one of my seminars from my degree (post-modern literary criticism featured quite heavily).

Incidentally, for those of you who want to read the book without giving Ms Tiresome any of your cash, I agree that buying 2nd hand from ebay/amazon is the way. Writers get 7p (or is it 11p?) from every library book taken out ...

dittany Sun 15-Mar-09 21:32:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maria2007 Sun 15-Mar-09 21:27:00


Have just finished reading all 40 (FOURTY!!!) pages of this thread. Cannot believe I now know so much- stuff I really didn't want to know- about the Myerson family. And, like Cherryblossoms, can't believe I'm being sucked into this whole saga like this...

Just one thing. What really has upset me the most is the title of the book- 'The lost child'. I want to shake the woman & shout to her 'your child is NOT lost!! He's alive & well, is 20 years old, living very near you. Pull the book before it's published, go find him, hug him & apologize. Tell him this was all a dreadful mistake'. I find it in complete bad taste- and it also shows a surprising lack of even basic insight, and a completely un-parental coldness- to refer to your child as 'lost'.

I can imagine that if my mother were to have written a book, when I was 20 years old, referring to me as her 'lost child', I would have been utterly devastated. I would feel, I suspect, as if my own parents had abandoned me, had given up on me. I would then possibly feel very lost indeed.

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