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Posts Tagged ‘Live Talks LA’

John Cleese is No Fan of Rupert Murdoch

JohnCleeseLiveTalksLAThis penultimate portion of Live Talks LA’s fifth season sold out quickly a month beforehand. A total of 900 copies of John Cleese‘s autobiography were purchased in conjunction with the November 18 Alex Theatre sit-down. And per the full video of the conversation now posted, nearly an equal amount of scintillating anecdotes were shared.

Event series founder-producer Ted Habte-Gabr has matched up a lot of great authors and interviewers over the years, but the pairing of Cleese with Monty Python pal Eric Idle ranks right at the top. Probably the funniest single stretch is when Cleese and Idle recalled touring New Zealand during their earliest days (“We left England in July 1964 and we arrived in Auckland in…” Cleese began, “…in July 1864,” Idle added.)

There were also during the discussion a couple of notable mentions of Rupert Murdoch. At one point, Idle and Cleese talked about having recently read Nick Davies‘ acclaimed book Hack Attack: How the Truth Caught Up with Rupert Murdoch:

Idle: “It’s a very interesting book of how, we won’t mention his name – Rupert Murdoch! – took over England, really, and was responsible for electing Thatcher, Blair, Major and Brown. That power is really extraordinary.”

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Middle Grade Novel Writing

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Susan Orlean Interviews Erica Jong

When Fear of Flying was first published in November of 1973, no one – including author Erica Jong – knew exactly what had been wrought. During her recent conversation with fellow author and New Yorker staff writer Susan Orlean, she began by recalling that she only knew she had concocted “something outrageous.”

As is customary with west coast conversation series Live Talks LA, video of the event is now up about a month following, for many more to enjoy. It’s fascinating to take a step back, on this 40th anniversary occasion, to a time when there was no Amazon, female novelists were a rarity and a writing instrument of choice was an IBM Selectric typewriter.

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