Lily Brett on tour in Australia to promote Lola Bensky

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.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

  2. 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!

    1. 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

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

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