The Celebrity and the Word

From Jordan to Tess Daly, from Victoria Beckham to Sarah Ferguson – celebrities seem to be finding their way onto our bookshelves as well as television. My personal feeling is one of animosity when I see a new book with an insipid face peering out of it – published because of a name and not necessarily a talent. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of books written by celebrities that are good (*ahem* Julie Andrews and Stephen Fry), but there are people who seem to latch onto literature because it’s another form of publicity.

I definitely don’t have anything against Pippa Middleton, per say; in fact I think she’s great! So it does make me wonder whose idea it was… According to the Telegraph, Pippa Middleton is getting ready to sign a book deal on how to be the perfect party hostess. I wonder (under my breath) what she has done to qualify herself as the perfect party hostess, especially one who is good enough to write a book about it, but then realise that it might not necessarily be her organisational skills or writing wit that gets her this deal. There might be a certain anatomical advantage to this signing too.

Like I said, I do love the Middletons. I shed a tear at the wedding, and gasped at Pippa’s beautiful dress that threatened to outshine our future queen’s. I would love to be a shopping friend of said Middletons, in fact. I would also like to spend a week in Ibiza with them drinking fishbowls and subathing hungover on the beach – because they just seem like the kind of people to do that and not care if they get papped, and that’s awesome.

But I will object to celebrity literature. It’s below chicklit in my estimation, and gives a poor name to the literature scene. There are hundreds, thousands, if not millions, of aspiring writers out there who deserve that space on the bookshelf a lot more than any celebrity (in fact, I can count at least twenty more-deserving people who I went to university with). But no, these people did not marry someone famous/get naked/sing on the X-Factor and so therefore are relegated to slush piles of publishing houses in the vague hope that one day, talent shall overrule the shining lights of celeb-ville.

Do we really want our generation of literature to be remembered as written by glamour models?


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