Model and reality television star Katie Price – a.k.a. Jordan – has won surprise acclaim for her new novel ‘Memoirs of an Underpaid Ghost-writer’, published this week to coincide with the Christmas market.
The London Review of Books has described the new work as ‘Revelatory; a terse and forthright dissection of the dark underside of the celebrity machine.’ While the Sunday Times declared that ‘Memoirs… is a stylistic volte-face, displaying an empathy and incisiveness barely hinted at in any of her previous work.’
‘Memoirs …’ takes the literary form of a fictional autobiography. It traces the career of Gareth, a failed novelist and screenwriter. As his dreams are thwarted at every turn, Gareth is forced, by crippling debt, into ghost-writing autobiographies and vanity novels for pampered celebrities and reality TV stars.
Particular praise has been reserved for Price’s portrayal of two characters: former Page 3 model ‘Libby R.’, and her estranged husband Pierre Previn. The couple’s risible antics add a richly comic seam to the otherwise unremitting existential despair of Gareth, who is faced with the unenviable task of turning the couple’s incoherent musings into lucid prose for the supermarket shelves.
In spite of eschewing her usual demographic with this novel, pundits are predicting huge success for the work: ‘Unless the likes of Amis and McEwan get their fingers out, this is surely a shoo-in for the 2010 Man Booker Prize’ gushed Norman Ivison in the Sunday Telegraph ‘and who would have thought, even a few short weeks ago, that we would be saying that about so-called ‘supermodel’ Jordan?’
In spite of her new role as ‘the voice of a generation’, Price herself has been reluctant to speak about the novel. ‘Katie is currently, erm, re-reading her novel, before she feels ready to discuss it publicly.’ explained her PR Gilly Gallagher ‘I don’t think she had realised quite what she was unleashing.’
‘I explained to Katie that, however massive her profile has been so far, it is about to expand further: ‘you have even bigger things in front of you now, Katie!’ I told her. She just nodded and said ‘So you noticed then?’ She is a mysterious woman indeed.’