Thursday, 19 June 2008
Old people crossing
I did something nasty to my back on Monday while manhandling four bikes into and onto a car, so when, at the Society of Authors’ awards do last night, Jennie Walker was asked to step up to receive the McKitterick Prize, which is for a first novel written by an author aged over 40, it must have looked to the audience as if the prize was this year won by a cross-dressing author aged over 85.
Some people were confused. I was – and have been for some time – a little confused myself. This is a perfectly natural state to be in.
PS – Journalists, of course, are more confused – and cause more confusion – than anyone. The Guardian website today has Jennie as a poet, and notes that her name is a pseudonym of the ‘novelist’ CB. This is straightforward inability-to-read-a-press-release. Usually they get it wrong by exaggeration. There was lovely headline in the Hammersmith & Fulham Gazette earlier this year: ‘New Bus Stops Cause Mild Confusion’ – yet in the accompanying picture none of the people at the bus stop looked in the slightest confused, they knew exactly where they were going and how to get there.