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In this podcast Nalini Haynes talks to an author whose writing has been turned into movies, a TV series and an opera. During her career, she’s lived in three countries of which she’s had citizenship in two. In recognition of her many novels and advocacy of equality, human rights, and physical and mental health both nationally and internationally, she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Wollongong (UOW) on Thursday 20 April 2017. And today’s author is the funniest guest DMZ has had the privilege to feature, so this interview of Kathy Lette is hands down DMZ’s funniest yet podcast.
You can find DMZ’s review of Kathy Lette’s latest novel, HRT: Husband Replacement Therapy, here. Penguin’s HRT page is here.
Kathy Lette has her own website and is on twitter at @KathyLette.
Kathy’s latest tweet:
So what does your wife want for #mothersday ? If, after 7 wks of #lockdown it's a husband-ectomy, then dash to the bookshop. You might as well remind her that, ok, you may have developed domestic blindness but at least you haven't lost yr sense of humour. https://t.co/Os8upXAu8e
— Kathy Lette (@KathyLette) May 9, 2020
And Kathy, too, is finding Rona-life challenging but does so in a humorous way with comedic icon Ruby Wax.
This sums up EXACTLY how I feel right now in this tipsy, topsy turvy world. What on earth can we do to keep sane? Self distanced cycling with @Rubywax certainly helps. pic.twitter.com/oGugUPisDz
— Kathy Lette (@KathyLette) May 9, 2020
Planned talking points
Women of a Certain Age: from puberty to menopause
You have a reputation for writing stories about women of a certain age, that age depending on your stage of life.
You’ve just had yet another novel released, HRT: Husband Replacement Therapy.
Late in this novel you refer to smoke from the bushfires then the coronavirus.
The promo material says it’s based on real life. Did anyone take out a contract on you?
You’ve contrasted helicopter mums with a toxic matriarch who reminds me of my own mother, playing her kids off against each other. Why are women portrayed as martyrs or monsters and how do we break those moulds?
In previous books you’ve delved into cosmetic surgery and liposuction. In this novel, the women are older and yet are not considering either.
Do you think the ravages of surgical procedures are becoming more widely known?
Do you think or hope women are accepting themselves more?
Kathy Lette the “actress” on AUSTRALIA’S QANDA
IMDB says you’ve appeared as yourself in lots of TV shows and movies. It also says you’ve made three screen appearances as an actress, one of which was on the Australian TV show Q&A. Apparently that was as an actress, not as yourself. What’s it like to be listed alongside other alleged Australian television stars such as Barnaby Joyce and Christopher Pyne?
Your first novel was Puberty Blues, which was published in 1979, came out as a movie in 1981 and as TV series in 2012. What was it like to see your first baby be transformed into different media and through changing culture?
On the spectrum
Your novel, The Boy Who Fell To Earth, is about a mother with a son on the autism spectrum. You are a mother with a son on the autism spectrum and you consulted with your son about publishing this fictional story. What was it like writing something so deeply personal and yet so outrageously funny?
What are your influences?
What’s next for you?
Who would win in a conflict, Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous or Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth 1,Joan of Arc, Eleanor of Aquitaine?
If you listened to the whole podcast, I hope your tummy isn’t too sore from laughing. If you’ve read to the bottom of the page, I commend your diligence. Thanks for joining us! Upcoming podcasts include an #OwnVoices author who’s written a queer character on the autism spectrum and a panel of children’s authors who had me in stitches – but in a G-rated way, no swinging from the chandelier with a toyboy between their teeth. Thanks for listening and stay tuned for more!