Thursday, November 19, 2009

An Education (Rhoades)

“An Education” Recalls Loss of Innocence

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Fellow journalist Lynn Barber has written her memoirs. I had friends in common back when she worked for Vanity Fair. She’s known for her tougher-than-nails interviews. I never asked to be introduced.

A part of her autobiography has been made into a movie. “An Education” is playing at the Tropic Cinema.

The film tells us about a British schoolgirl named Jenny (charmingly portrayed by Carey Mulligan) who meets an older man. This guy David (played by Peter Sarsgaard) introduces her to a sophisticated grown-up world filled with “concerts, jazz clubs, and take trips away at weekends.”

Smitten, she turns a blind eye to her older boyfriend’s bad habits. Like burglary and swindling people out of their apartments (er, make that “flats”).

The final straw comes when she discovers the rascal is married with children.

Yep, it’s an education in the ways of the world.

And true. Lynn says she jumped into the affair to give her life some excitement and “impress the little squirts of Hampton Grammar.” And, as it turns out, the then-16-year-old girl did it with the complicity of her parents.

“You don’t need to go to university if you’ve got a good husband,” her mother encouraged her, not knowing this suave roué was already married.

“I know I’ve done a bad thing,” says Lynn about calling her now-in-their-nineties parents to task in her book. “But I also think I’ve been a dutiful daughter for 65 years and I’m going to be a bit undutiful now.”

Nevertheless she credits her youthful affair for the skepticism that makes her a good journalist today. “I lost innocence,” she says.

Lynn must have learned something from the ill-begotten relationship. She later published a book titled “How to Improve Your Man in Bed.”
[from Solares Hill]

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