Adele Geras and daughter, poet and thriller-writer Sophie Hannah were magnificent, I'm told, by a bevy of that critically-honed species, the thirteen year old girl. I regret so much missing this mother and daughter act at my girls' school this afternoon - no amount of blood can make up for it! Sophie is a curlier-haired version of Adele, apparently, and there was much maternal pride on display, much exclaiming by the older woman at the cleverness of the younger. Sophie read one of her poems, which the girls adored.
By all accounts, though, both authors will have gone home with some rip-roaring school-girl howlers. They of course will be much too lady-like to spill, but not of their ilk, I feel obliged to share just a couple of this afternoon's moments with you. Apparently, during question time, one hapless girl put up her hand to ask Adele whether the movie Troy was based on the Geras story of the same name. "Uh, no," answered a too polite Adele, "that'd be the Homer story that both are based on..."
Then later another schoolgirl said in the local patois, "do you, uh, you know, like, advertise your books?" In non-patois, this translates as, "do you advertise your books?" These girls are unable to complete a sentence without inserting the word 'like' into every phrase. Adele, a Mancunian, answered straightforwardly, "oh yes, I love publicising my books - it's my favourite bit."