Time Out meets the outspoken columnist and novelist
Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
‘THE HUNKA HUNKA BURNING LOVE THAT IS JUDD APATOW.’ Did she write it? She did, in a column about how weird we would find it if male film stars were introduced at the Oscars with a description of their beauty as female film stars are.
Caitlin ‘Yes! I did! It was about the Oscars! They do the same thing with intros on TV, too. TV sexism is actually the reason I ended up writing How to Be a Woman [her 2011 memoir/manifesto]. In 2007, I pitched my sitcom Raised by Wolves to the BBC and they said they loved it, but I had to come back in a couple of years as they already had “a sitcom with women in” for this year and the next. I went away going, “I’m going to have to reinvent feminism now just so I can get this commissioned.” Then, when the book sold a million, the BBC said, “Have you got any sitcoms?” I went: “Yeah, here’s the thing you rejected three years ago.” We gave it to Channel 4 in the end.’
‘ANY IDIOT CAN BE A MUSIC JOURNALIST.’ Did she write it? Nope. We made it up. Caitlin ‘Well, it is true. But no, I don’t think I did say it. The weird thing about when I became a music journalist is that I went from a record collection of 20 albums to hanging out with rock stars.’
‘FRANKIE COCOZZA: AN OVER-CONFIDENT TEENAGE DRINKER WITH A VOICE LIKE A GOOSE BEING KICKED DOWN A SLIDE AND HAIR LIKE A TUMBLEDRIED ST BERNARD.’ Did she write it? Partly. We changed the ending.
Caitlin ‘Yes! That was me, definitely. You changed it? That’s a sneaky one! I feel bad about saying that now. The last time I was mean to someone was during Ed Sheeran’s set at The Queen’s Jubilee concert. I tweeted: “Bless him, but if my children ever come home and say they love Ed Sheeran, I’m going to put them in a weighted sack and throw them in a canal.” He tweeted me later saying, “I’m so sorry to hear that, Caitlin. Sorry!” I felt so awful. Particularly now he’s become hot and his album’s great, and he’s best friends with Taylor Swift.
‘WHY CAN’T I RAM A BATCAR INTO THE PENGUIN’S DEN? I WISH I WERE BATMAN.’ Did she write it? Yep. In a column about how she wishes campaigning against sexism wasn’t so boring.
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Caitlin ‘Yes, that’s a quote from a column about feminism. Again. I go on about women a lot. It was about the idea that feminists take delight in being miserable, angry harridans when in fact no one wants to be a joyless humour-kill. If I could change things by stealing Batman’s car and ramming it into The Penguin’s den, that is very much the option I’d take.’
‘MY FAVOURITE TWEET I’VE EVER DONE IS WHEN I SAID: “PETE, HELP! I’M STUCK ON THE TOILET WITH NO PAPER.”’ Did she write it? No. She told us this once, so we thought it might throw her.
Caitlin ‘That did happen! But it’s not actually my favourite ever tweet. My favourite was when I was watching the first episode of Sherlock, having a couple of drinks. My first tweet was when Benedict Cumberbatch came on screen, going: “Look at the acting! Oh yes, this really is a quality drama!” The second time I tweeted I’d had another drink: “That quality face! That face is [really] nice!” Third tweet, I’d had three drinks… you get the idea. A couple of weeks later, I went on set to do interviews. I was standing with Benedict, who seemed a bit uptight, so I said: “Are you okay, darling?” He said: “Yeah, it’s a bit weird being interviewed by you. We were at Steven Moffat’s house when the first episode of Sherlock went out. So every time you tweeted, he’d pass me his iPhone. When that fourth tweet went out, it became very awkward in the room.” My tweet made Sherlock go red!’
‘THE EFFECT [OF MEETING LADY GAGA] IS ONE OF HAVING BEEN USHERED INTO THE PRESENCE OF SOMEONE AS MYSTICAL AS THAT ELF LADY FROM LORD OF THE RINGS.’ Did she write it? Not quite. The ending of the original quote was: ‘…into the presence of a very powerful fairytale queen: possibly one who has recently killed Aslan’.
Caitlin ‘Ooh… no? No, I don’t think that’s what I said. When I did that interview, Gaga was the most mysterious person in the world. How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran is available from all good book shops including Book World by Kinokuniya, priced at Dhs46. The Dubai Mall (04 434 0111).
Five essential NEW beach reads for 2015
The House on Carnaval Street: From Kabul to a Home by the Mexican Sea, by Deborah Rodriguez
Life affirming personal memoirs from the bestselling US author. Here, Rodriguez takes the reader on her journey after facing kidnap threats following the release of her first book, fleeing Kabul and finding a new home and a host of new experiences in Mexico. Dhs52. Available from all good bookshops and online at www.amazon.com.
The Forty Rules of Love, by Elif Shafak Ella Rubenstein
is 40-years-old, miserable and stuck in an unhappy, dead-end marriage when she takes a job as a reader for a literary agent. Her first assignment brings her to a novel written by a man named Aziz Zahara. As she delves deeper into the novel she realises the characters and the author have come to set her free from her troubles. Dhs59. Available from all good bookshops and online at www.amazon.com.
Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination – Hardback, by J. K. Rowling and Joel Holland
British author J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University, and it’s now published for the first time in book form. The Harry Potter author delivers words of advice on how to embrace failure and use the power of imagination to better yourself. Dhs65. Available from all good bookshops and online at www.amazon.com.
Shopaholic to the Stars, by Sophie Kinsella
Kinsella’s shopping mad character, Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood), has moved to LA with her husband Luke and daughter Minnie. In this eighth novel of the fantastic series, Becky now has her heart firmly set on becoming personal stylist to the stars, but will the plucky socialite’s ambitions be more than her marriage can stand? Dhs39. Available from all good bookshops and online at www.amazon.com.
Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader, by Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli
This book answers the question about the life and career of the Apple cofounder and CEO: How did a young man so reckless and arrogant that he was exiled from the company he founded become the most effective visionary business leader of our time? Dhs82. Available from all good bookshops and online at www.amazon.com.