Monday, January 23, 2006

desperate characters indeed

I had no idea that novelist and children's author Paula Fox (Desperate Characters) was Courtney Love's grandmother until I read this review of the new memoir from Courtney's mom, Linda Carroll. Carroll details the search for her birth mother as an adult, and the discovery that Paula Fox was the missing link she'd been seeking. However, the memoir mostly focuses on Carroll's relationship with Courtney and her efforts to prove she's not as bad a mother as her daughter claims (and make a little money while she's at it).

Early buzz about the book has chewed on a few salacious moments: Courtney, at age 4, her parents now divorced, returning from a visit with her father and complaining about the "magic pills" he'd made her swallow. Or preteen Courtney, drunk on homemade apple wine at a family Christmas celebration, or in trouble for stealing pornographic magazines from a bookstore.

The selectively leaked excerpts triggered peremptory sniping from Love's manager on the perch of Page Six, the well-read gossip anchor of The New York Post, who termed it, "astonishing, and profoundly depressing, that any mother would write a book containing numerous allegations about her own young daughter. We strongly suggest that the book be viewed for what it is, a work of vicious and greedy fiction."

Carroll is tart in her reply, suggesting that Love's entourage "might want to read the book first." Backlash from her eldest daughter -- who was not given drafts to review, unlike Carroll's other children -- was probably inevitable, she said, adding that she's also girding herself for accusations that she's piggybacking on her daughter's high-profile.

"I acknowledge that will give the book a puff, but it's not enough to keep it up there," she said.