Still Standing, By Paul O'Grady
Boyd Tonkin is Senior Writer and a columnist at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Literary Editor at The Independent, and before that Social Policy Editor and then Books Editor at the New Statesman magazine. He has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes and has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize. In 2001, he re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for literature in translation, and serves on its judging panel every year.
Friday 19 April 2013
For his third autobiography, O'Grady revisits the Eighties, and the ascent of his alter ego Lily Savage – the brassy, backchatting "Blonde Bombsite" from Liverpool – from sawdust to stardust.
As Lily the sequinned diva rises to glory, so Paul the dutiful care worker recedes. As a narrator, stroppy of tongue but melting of heart, O'Grady still charms and tickles.
And, as friend after friend departs in the deadliest stage of the Aids epidemic, this gag-rich memoir of an old-school drag act also bears witness to stellar compassion and courage.
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