How to be Famous by Caitlin Moran
If you're a Caitlin Moran fan you will enjoy reading the second novel in her coming of age trilogy, How to be Famous.
It is 1995 and nineteen year old Johanna Morrigan arrives in London with no connections, no formal education and no money. She is on a mission to take the music press by storm before the age of 20 and adopts the alter ego Dolly Wilde.
As the legendary Dolly Wilde she writes a column for Generation X culture bible, The Face and shares every aspect of being famous. It's the height of Britpop and she spends her days meeting celebrities who live for sex, drugs and rock'n'roll.
But when a one night stand with an edgy comedian goes wrong, people start to know Dolly Wilde's name for all the wrong reasons. By the time her friends warn her against him, 'he destroys bright young girls,' it's too late. She has already had sex with him. Bad sex. Now she's one of the girls he's trying to destroy with revenge porn. Dolly Wilde refuses to be slut shamed, but how can one girl stop a famous, powerful man?
While How to be Famous is equal parts funny and angry, it also cleverly explores the politics of feminism that Caitlin is known for. Caitlin, was in fact, writing this novel as the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations were unfolding. As the #MeToo movement gathered momentum, Dolly also reached the same conclusion: to tell your experience from your point of view. Or empowerment through empathy.
Caitlin Moran was 16 years old when she published her first novel and was a columnist at The Times by the age of 18. Her collected works have been published as Moranthology and Moranifesto and her novel How to Build a Girl is currently being adapted as a movie. How to Change the World will complete the trilogy.
Reviewer: Andrea Molloy
Ebury Press, RRP $37.00