Damian Barr and Tracey Thorn on their memoirs


Writing a memoir is something most people leave until they are old and grey, with a life’s work behind them; but Tracey Thorn and Damian Barr are just 50 and 36 respectively. Tracey Thorn’s beautifully written, faintly wistful Bedsit Disco Queen, published in February, traces her development from shy, self-conscious teenager to internationally acclaimed pop-singer – one half of Everything But The Girl – and offers fascinating insights into the highs and lows of stardom. Damian Barr, prize-winning columnist, writer, playwright and presenter, is the founder of the Shoreditch House Literary Salon, andMaggie & Me, published this month, is his heartbreaking, heartwarming account of what it was like to grow up gay and in deep poverty in Thatcher’s Britain.

In a conversation chaired by Susannah Clapp, theatre critic of the Observer, and interspersed with readings from their memoirs, they reflect on what moved them to look back on their lives so soon, explore the relationship between memory and imagination, and exchange views on the Iron Lady and her legacy.

Recorded on Wednesday 8 May 2013.

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