Shannon Bolithoe : A Writing Life

History v historical fiction – The Guardian

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By Jane Smiley

“In the late 90s, when I first went blond, I was driving to Santa Anita racetrack and I turned into the wrong entrance. I told a guard that I was looking for the main entrance, and he leaned forward, and said in a loud, careful voice: “OK. Go back out the way you came in, and then turn LEFT” (he demonstrated how to turn left by holding out his arms and making a left-turn gesture), “and then turn LEFT again [same gesture], and THAT’S the entrance.” Big smile. I wondered for a moment why he was treating me like an idiot, and then I realised that I was now a blonde! Since I am very tall, always wear jeans and can scowl with the best of them, being condescended to, even mansplained to, is something I have rarely endured, but it happened again this week, on Radio 4’s Start the Week. Only this time I was not condescended to as a blonde, I don’t think, but as a novelist…”

Author: SBolithoe

Librarian, author, blogger, presenter, history buff and animal lover.

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