Sunday, June 15, 2008

Story by Mark Mondue ,from the Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 14 June:

Well-written in the wrong place

IT'S 10am in Primrose Hill, London. The author Isabel Fonseca sits in her kitchen, "tanking up on coffee". An American by birth and a New Yorker at heart, she says, "I can't believe I've lived in England for over 25 years or whatever it is. It's payment for my sins. Or maybe I just forgot to leave."
Her tone has a throwaway flash to it; just joking, right? Fonseca corrects me immediately. "I'm not, you know."
Why such resentment towards her adopted home? After all, England made her, so to speak. From a philosophy, politics and economics degree at Oxford to her role as an assistant editor at The Times Literary Supplement and the publication of Bury Me Standing in 1995, a non-fiction study of the gypsies of Eastern Europe.
That book involved five years of participatory journalism, living and breathing her subjects' lives from Albania to Estonia. Upon publication Salman Rushdie called it "a revelation: a hidden world"; Edward W. Said praised its "profound sympathy and brilliant insight".

In the meantime, Fonseca was making other news over her affair with Martin Amis. She had already picked up the nickname "Funseeker" on the London social circuit, as well as a slew of admirers that purportedly included John Malkovich, Clive James, Bill Buford and, yes, Salman Rushdie.
Link to the SMH online for the full story.

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