Following on from her hilarious and persuasive feminist memoir How to be a Woman, Caitlin Moran has compiled an anthology of her other writings drawn from her columns, interviews and reviews.
Caitlin has provided a little bit of commentary, context and anecdotes (almost like album liner notes) for each piece. Steeped in pop culture, Caitlin has interviewed Keith Richards, Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney and Eddie Izzard, visited the set of Doctor Who and reviewed Sherlock and Downton Abbey to list just a few of the topics she covers in this collection. Some of the pieces have dated, such as the TV show reviews and the Royal Wedding commentary, which makes the overall pacing lag slightly, but other columns are sharp, funny and retain their relevance. This is a book that suits being dipped into a few pages or columns at a time, perhaps during the commute or before bed, rather than being consumed in one sitting.
Caitlin’s style is conversational and hyperbolic, and she’s laugh out loud funny in places. Caitlin appears to have made a career out of writing about topics that amuse, interest and irritate her. Those who have read How to be a Woman will recognize the columns that informed chapters of that book, but Moranthology allows the reader to get a broader sense of Caitlin as a writer and a person.
My favourite pieces are the little glimpses into her personal life such as the sleepy bedtime conversations with her long-suffering husband or the achingly described holidays in Aberystwyth, closely followed by her compelling accounts of working her way out of a Wolverhampton council estate and her humbling descriptions of childhood poverty and life on benefits.
This collection isn’t flawless but it’s an entertaining and engaging read nevertheless; it’s a must read for her existing fans but also well worth reading for anyone with an interest in modern popular culture or current affairs.