Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Winterson, that rascal

The other day, I happened to be reading the Financial Times (the excellent, pink London newspaper to which my beloved subscribes) because an article on Brit psychotherapist/author Susie Orbach caught my eye. The teaser on Page One read: "Lunch with Susie Orbach: The feminist writer battles 'merchants of body hatred.'" How could I not read that? It was an interesting if snarky piece by the journalist William Leith (don't know who he is), who made a point of scrutinizing what Ms. Orbach ate and how her clothing fit on her slender 63-year-old body: "Her black silk top by Ghost hangs off her small frame." How clever, considering she is the author of the influential book, "Fat is a Feminist Issue."

Nonetheless, about two-thirds through the article was this nugget:

"She has two children – a son of 25, who lives in London, and a daughter of 20, who lives in New York. For years Orbach lived with their father, Joseph Schwartz, a writer and psychotherapist, but she has, according to newspaper reports, recently started a relationship with the writer Jeanette Winterson. I ask her if this is true. 'Yes,' she says, suddenly beaming with happiness."

Then the article goes back to the details of Orbach's lunch: "She won't have a pudding." But who cares about the pudding (which I normally care about a great deal – I would never pass up a pudding) when there is news of Winterson's love life? The Winterson/Orbach hook-up is news. When I was in London about six months ago, I'd read in the local press that Winterson was with theater director Deborah Warner. Warner is an attractive gamine blonde who last year in New York staged a well-received production of Beckett's "Happy Days," a play I like—and which seems to get more relevant with age. But I digress. The point is, Winterson, at 50, seems to be up to her typical randy ways, this time making a trip to cougarville.

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