Still Standing, By Paul O'Grady
Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.
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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