Archive | July 4, 2013

Lola Bensky by Lily Brett

Or is it Lily Brett by Lola Bensky?

The recurring storyline of Brett’s novels is her life: how children of Holocaust survivors cope with the trauma of what their parents went through. And there are other details – living in Australia, writing for a rock magazine, moving to New York that Brett has used in earlier novels.

There are descriptions of the horrors of the Nazis in this novel that will live with you forever. As they should. There are also low brow observations of rock stars that Lola met when she was a rock journalist. Novel it may be but the descriptions of the rock stars of the 60s is clearly factual; and her portraits are sympathetic and original. With her unexpected questions and comments you can see why she drew out original and honest responses from the performers. Gotta love the chance to sit in the front seats at a rock festival, next to Janis Joplin, and talk about music, weight, sex and family expectations.

Talk about mixing the intense with the superficial! Is it shallow of me that I loved the parts with the rock stars? And how to reconcile this with my distaste of the invasive accounts of celebrities’ lives that dominate popular media?