Lily Brett on tour in Australia to promote Lola Bensky

by Virginia Lloyd on October 7, 2012

New York-based Australian author Lily Brett begins her Australian tour today to coincide with the publication of her sixth novel, Lola Bensky. A full schedule of her public events is available on her website and Facebook page.

I have known Lily since the late 1990s when I was the Picador Editor at Pan Macmillan. Shortly after I was hired, I edited Lily’s collection of essays on the occasion of her turning 50, In Full View. I was daunted to meet her in person. Her very first words to me were: “You’re so young!”

Neither of us suspected that over the course of more than 15 years I would independently edit all of her fiction and nonfiction (except for New York, which is a collection of previously published articles in German newspaper Die Zeit), or that she would co-dedicate a book to me and my late husband (her previous novel, published in English as You Gotta Have Balls and in German as Chutzpah), or that she would write a blurb for my own book, or that we would become close friends. For several good reasons I am not her literary agent.

Lily and I had talked about her new book on, then mostly off, for a few years. Finally in early 2011 she told me she would be locking herself away for a few months to see if there really was a novel amidst all the notes she had been keeping under lock and key for years. Happily that self-imposed writerly exile lasted for about nine months, and the delightful Lola Bensky was the result.

Take a look at this short video, which features Lily speaking in her New York loft about the character Lola Bensky, and some photos of Lily in 1967 when she was a rock music journalist for Go-Set magazine.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenny Ackland October 9, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I love Lily Brett’s novels and short stories and am looking forward to reading Lola Bensky. How lucky you know her, she seems like a good person to know. I especially enjoyed reading the recent article in the Melbourne newspaper about her and her father’s relationship. Lovely.


Virginia October 11, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Hi Jenny, thanks for your comment. I’d love to hear what you think of LOLA BENSKY. It is always a pleasure to work with Lily. We laugh a lot together. I loved that Good Weekend piece too.

Sally Collings October 12, 2012 at 1:27 am

Hi Virginia, I’m hoping to see Lily at one of her Brisbane events. A good friend of mine in NY, Belinda Jackson, is also a friend of Lily’s and mentioned her new book – I can’t wait to read it. Sounds as though Lily leads a rich and vivid life that gives her plenty of imaginative fuel!
Sally Collings recently posted..The Simple Things


Virginia October 14, 2012 at 11:01 am

Hi Sally, great to hear from you! I have met Belinda a few times through Lily. Our world seems to be full of these two degrees of separation stories. I hope your book is doing well. You must introduce yourself to Lily if you do get to one of her events. Best wishes, Virginia

Alison Wilson February 16, 2013 at 5:34 am

I am at present reading Lily Brett’s In Full View. In the essay ‘Sex,’ Lily mentions a sister. Does she have a sister?


Virginia February 17, 2013 at 11:03 am

Hi Alison. Yes, she does.

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