Haunted by Ghostwriting: Richard Flanagan

 

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Truly, ghostwriting is a gift. An ability to inhabit another’s voice and speak as if it were your own.

The fact that the little word “ghost” is attached at the front doesn’t change one fact: This is real writing. Difficult writing. Just like any writing.

When it works best (as in Andre Agassi’s memoir written with the help of JR Moehringer), there are no signs of it. The text feels composed by the autobiographer/memoirist alone. When it doesn’t work so well, as in Richard Flanagan’s case (described in his new book First Person), it sounds more like a demonic possession.

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