Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ghosting As A Career Choice


How much of yourself do you set aside every day when you go to work? Are you putting on a game face or do you become someone else entirely? In Ghosting, author Jennie Erdal writes about her years spent living a double life at work. Why? Money? Timidity? Power? Ghostwriting started out for Erdal as a convenient job for a mother of three. It became a very strange and morally murky career. The details of her 15 years ghosting for a well known publisher (Referred to as Tiger throughout the book. In real life he was Naim Attallah) and media personality are absorbing. During that time she wrote a huge amount of business letters, love letters, articles and even full length books that were published under Tiger's name. It's quite bizarre and absorbing.

Erdal grew up in Scotland, studied Russian literature, married, divorced, married and in between had three children. She writes about all these events with grace and humor. However it's her symbiotic relationship with Tiger and especially how she got to that point, that is the fascination here. This is no misery memoir. Tiger, while the antihero isn't a villain. Some of Ghosting is quite amusing. Erdal as her alter ego, writing Tiger's erotic novel and the trip to France to write his first novel when she has no idea at all how to write fiction. There is some unpleasantness: temper tantrums, office politics and an ego the size of the universe to deal with on a daily basis.

Ghosting is a remarkable life portrait about an intelligent woman in a very curious situation. She not only thrives in that situation but survives and overcomes it as well.

Happy who is really someone else but writes all her own stuff as this other person

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