When J.K. Rowling was on the Oprah show last fall (a perfect union of my two most important emotional education sources) she talked about how crazy her celebrity was, and how surprising it had been. I’m paraphrasing, but she said something like that even in her wildest dreams of literary success she couldn’t have imagined people wanting to see pictures of her in her bikini. Authors are important; they are beloved. But many think they shouldn’t be treated with celebrity. They make their living on their words, not their faces.
Even though it might not be the “cool” or “intellectual” opinion, I am kind of okay with this. I want to see pictures of J.K. Rowling on the beach, and know where she went on vacation …and what she ate for breakfast. I think knowing about Stephanie Meyer’s crazy religious views or reading about Alice Munro’s scandalous first marriage adds to my enjoying their books. I would sacrifice most of my possessions for a detailed and real look inside the marriage of Jonathan Safran Foer and Nicole Krauss.
While, the Internet and blockbuster best sellers, might have heightened this celebrity status, historically readers’ interest in the personal life of their favorite authors is nothing new. London loved to gossip about Mary Anne Evans (George Eliot’s) scandalous relationship with the married George Lewes. In fact, English majors everywhere are still sharing rumors about that one.
Anyways, my newest author-celebrity crush came out of a two=part appearance on the Colbert Report. If you don’t know what I’m talking about watch the video below…and prepare to be fascinated. And if you have any juicy scandals about the “Where the Wild Things Are” author, please send them my way.