August 16, 2011
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An Education

by Lynn Barber

An interesting little book, on chapter of which form the basis for the lovely 2009 movie with screenplay by Nick Hornby.

This is the second of Barber’s books I’ve read; in 1976, Linda and I grabbed a copy of her first book, How To Improve Your Man In Bed, on a lark at 30th Street Station in Philadephia. Fancy meeting again! After graduating from Oxford, Barber found a job at Vogue for 14 pounds a week, and then was offered 16 by a struggling startup named Penthouse. Later, she joined a variety of London newspapers, writing feature interviews with distinction.

When Barber was 16, she met a strangely compelling, glamorous, and peculiar older man who swept her parents off their feet and their daughter into bed. Everything in the movie is here, but Barber’s style is so spare, honed by years of expertise as a magazine feature writer, that the written story seems slighter and even leaner than it is.