Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I had to apologise to Kate Holden when I met her, I'd been flagrantly stating that I was interviewing a former prostitute and heroin addict - 'sexy' and glib catch phrases. The apology was simply about that - that she, as an intelligent, informed, reflective and reconciled woman in the 21st Century had become reduced to that for promotional purposes.
Kate is a professional writer with a regular column for the Saturday Age newspaper, she is a voracious reader and thinker with a tendency to overshare. The thing that struck me most, though, while interviewing this sweet, gently witty woman, was the simple fact that she has reconciled her time as a pariah (try and tell me that being a heroin addict is not the paedophilia of drug addictions) with her day to day existence - and that has made her appear more whole than a lot of the sanctimonious bores we encounter day to day.
Simply put, there is no apparent hypocrisy about her being.
Kate has written two books, both memoirs, covering different times in her life. In My Skin (2005) began as a project while she was studying and eventually ending up in a bidding war between publishing houses - with Text Publishing winning out. The Romantic was published by Text earlier this year. In My Skin tells the story of Kate's time as a junky and as a prostitute. She was writing a diary when she was using, and while she says that the diary, on re-reading, is boring 'got to get clean, going to get clean, getting clean starting after this taste,' - it helped bring back snippets of her life then that allowed her to flesh out the memoirs. And, there is a fair bit of flesh in it.
The Romantic, a slightly sarcastic title, tells of Kate's time in Italy, and the process of reconciliation - life as junky and hooker merging with a drug free and free sex life. How do you tell a lover of your past - and should you even tell them at all? Recounted through the story of a series of lovers, saunters past Byron's house, reading Casanova in a hotel alone, ferocious sexy fucking and an eventual fiance in the form of an Italian Stallion it is a gorgeous conclusion to In My Skin.
There is a wordsmith at play here - and at least a couple of hearty tales - have a listen to Kate describe some of these things in her own words.
For further information, check out Kate's website
by Kate Holden
Text Publishing 2010
The recorded interview was first played on Edge Radio on Tuesday, December 14, 2010
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