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Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful personal tale with useful insights for all writers, 8 Jan. 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Ghosting: A Memoir (Hardcover)
Having read this book over the Holidays I can't agree with the review in the Financial Times (Wed Dec 24, 2004) that this is the "business book of the year". I found it a very touching personal tale about the challenges she faced in her own life (divorce; life with young children; a home in Scotland and a job in London; memories of her childhood) as well as the challenges of working for the man she calls "Tiger" - as both a ghostwriter and editor the Russian List at his publishing company.
However, the heart of the book is the struggle she had as the ghostwriter of two of his novels. There are insightful and - for anyone who is a writer - incredible useful passages about the process of writing. Since she is forced to write fiction on behalf of another she faces the challenge of finding an authentic 'voice' in which to write - a voice that must appear to be someone else's:
"The fact that I was writing as someone else - with a mask on, as it were - inevitably added yet another layer of complexity. I did and did not feel responsible for the words on the page, I did and did not feel that they belonged to me; I did and did not feel that I could defend them in my heart." (p.142)
So on the one hand this is far more a personal memoir than a business book. On the other hand, maybe the FT is right. To the extent that all of us work in corporations where we face the challenge of appearing sincere and committed to an agenda that does not belong to us we are all 'ghosting' .
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