Magazine article The Spectator

BOOKENDS - Pearls before Swine

Magazine article The Spectator

BOOKENDS - Pearls before Swine

Article excerpt

The Poor Little Rich Girl memoir, popular for at least a century, nowadays slums it in the misery department. 'One particularly annoying aspect of being sexually abused or traumatised as a child, ' writes Ivana Lowell in Why not Say what Happened? (Bloomsbury, £25), 'is that everyone wants you to talk about it.' Does she mean 'everyone', or just her agent, publisher and 'many psychiatrists'?

Ivana Lowell is third-generation PLRG: daughter of Caroline Blackwood, doomy muse of Lucian Freud and Robert Lowell, and author of pitilessly miserable fiction; granddaughter of the 4th Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava (as she remained for two further marriages), who in 1998 observed, 'The only problem the Guinnesses don't have is money.'

When Ivana was six she was molested by her nanny's husband, who threatened her with his dog. …

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