Benjamin Law Interview

family_law.jpgBenjamin Law may not be a name known to many in the Australian literary world, but he is the senior writer on Frankie magazine and has now published his first book, The Family Law, about his eccentric family. Marieke Hardy interviewed him for "Readings".
Law himself seems unfazed by the thought of splashing his dirty laundry across the page, and insists that nothing about the book is exaggerated. 'You don't have to manufacture drama in my family. Just put any two members in the same room, and it's like a chemistry experiment - something will happen. Or perhaps it's an experiment in zoology. Shark versus squid, that type of thing'.

Ben and I first became aware of each other's work when both regularly contributing to the gorgeous 'sharp, witty, everyday and anecdotal' Frankie magazine. Initially shy in correspondence, our online banter soon became freeform and relentless; a friendship blossoming through a desire to both impress and shock. Through our written work - not only for Frankie, but also, in Ben's case publications such as The Monthly and The Big Issue - we both enjoy a flirtation with what author David Sedaris refers to as 'the illusion of intimacy'. Allowing readers in to a degree that - to the observer - may appear dangerous to the author's privacy, or lack thereof.

But it's one thing for Law to reveal gasp-inducing facts about his own sex life and personal bathroom habits (to say any more would, I'm afraid, be what's known in the industry as a 'spoiler'), quite another altogether to drag in extended family members. Law's brothers and sisters get the full going-over in Family Law, and his mother and father seem to fare in similarly raw terms.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on June 14, 2010 10:15 PM.

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