57 - Lynn Barber

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This week’s Difficult Woman Lynn Barber is a journalism legend and grand dame. Winner of the Interview of the Year press Oscars a record six times, pen name the Demon Barber and when she asked to interview me this year I only agreed on condition that she would do this podcast. She is a widow who says some her jolliest conversations are now about not sex but dying but enjoyed a teenagerhood so fascinating a movie has been made of her memoir of that time, called An Education, which is not about going to Oxford, but what being romanced by a conman taught her about life: “I learned not to trust people; I learned not to believe what they say but to watch what they do; I learned to suspect that anyone and everyone is capable of ‘living a lie’. I came to believe that other people – even when you think you know them well – are ultimately unknowable. Learning all this was a good basis for my subsequent career as an interviewer.”

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