Some of you may have heard of Kathy Lette. She is an Aussie. A journalist. A mum. Kathy leapt to fame as a teenager. This is how she introduces herself on her website
I left school at sixteen (the only examination I’ve ever passed is my cervical smear test) to become a writer. I penned my first novel “Puberty Blues” aged 17, as revenge on the surfie boys with whom I grew up. The blokes disproved the theory of evolution – they were evolving into apes. The book became a cult classic proving that poetic justice is the only true justice in the world – and I say that married to a lawyer!
The book was made into a major film and a TV mini-series. She has gone on to write many books since then I disovered. I have come across her columns in our Sunday newspaper and always find them funny.
Kathy was born in Sydney on the 11th November 1958. She holds Australian and British dual citizenship currently living in the UK. You may have heard of her husband Geoffrey Robertson. He is a QC , a human rights barrister, academic, author and broadcaster. I came across him on TV many years ago when he was hosting hypotheticals . They were a series of discussions on social issues, using a “hypothetical” format on which an imaginary situation was created, and a selected panel of experts discussed its ramifications. Subjects ranged from the drug problems to environmental issues. It was a fascinating, funny and thought provoking series.
But I digress. What I wanted to write about is this book of Kathy Lette’s. I came across it recently. The title intrigued me, it was on sale, so I bought it. I found it fascinating and difficult to put down. At the time of reading I knew very little about the author. Having read the book, I delved in and did some research. She wrote this book with the permission of her son Jules, now 23. It is in a way his story – fiction based on fact.
The book is very funny and packed full of heart wrenching stories about the life of Lucy, a single mum, struggling to bring up her son Merlin who has high end autism spectrum disorder.
In an interview in June 2016 Kathy talked about her life with Jules: Having a child on the autistic spectrum was exhausting and it still is. Jules is 23 now and he rings me maybe 10 times a day. His memory is prodigious and obsessive. When he was five he knew the whole of Hamlet off by heart, then it was the Beatles, then tennis. He knows the scoreline at match point of every Grand Slam game ever played. He would make a great tennis commentator, although he might suddenly talk about Serena Williams’ bottom. He has no filter, so you’re never quite sure what he might say.
It is a very enjoyable and enlightening read.
© Raili Tanska