Tag Archives: biography

Viv Albertine’s pioneering women (and what happens when we meet our idols)

*Guest post by Laura Cofield*

A moment of pure joy washed over me last Wednesday as I  watched my two favourite feminist icons sit on stage together and chat about pioneering women in music as part of The Odditorium series of events for Brighton Fringe Festival. Viv Albertine, writer, artist and guitarist of The Slits was invited to talk in conversation with Lucy about the women she had come to recognise as influential in her life. It was like ‘grasping at straws’ she described, born in the fifties and with so few women visible in the public eye, let alone pioneering in alternative and subculture.

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Maybe I’d be better off writing a ‘tell-all’ biography of Princess Diana

I’ve just parked up a chapter on Princess Diana that will eventually end up in my new book about the 1980s.  I’ve been writing the chapter for a long time and I’m not sure I’ve finished it – but it is definitely not getting any better for now  so I better leave it alone.  I’ve read more books on Diana in the last couple of months than I ever dreamed likely.  The more I worked through the pile of unauthorised biographies and memoirs, the more the lines between the two sorts of books began to blur.  It became harder to tell when people were writing about Diana, and when they were writing about themselves.  I should also add, the more I read the less of an idea of what she was ‘really like’ I had. Although to be honest that wasn’t what I was looking for and it isn’t really what I’m interested in.  What I’m interested in is how and why these books sell the idea of the Real Diana. Whilst academic approaches have tended to displace the Real Diana, by analysing what she signified and why people cared about her.  Popular biographies and memoirs market their access to the ‘real woman’ underneath; who she was.

Continue reading Maybe I’d be better off writing a ‘tell-all’ biography of Princess Diana