The Opportunity: A conversation with Kathy Lette

‘I thought the sexism was normal really. We surfie chicks didn’t know anything about feminism and on reflection it was a demoralising and brutal world, but my friend and I started writing little stories about our lives and in doing so, began to realise the awful inequality.’

‘I went to a writing workshop with my girlfriend, and met a woman who said she was a script writer. We showed her some of our stories and she liked them. She said she wanted to turn them into a script and asked if she could acquire the rights. We were very sceptical and doubtful — even then I had chronic sceptic-aemia, we didn’t trust her at all, but decided to carpe the hell out of diem and take a chance — and before you know it, Bruce Beresford was directing it and the film, called Puberty Blues, became the biggest box-office grossing Australian film! It all started from there and the book is now a kind of Australian cultural classic. People see me in the street and still quote lines from the movie.’

‘At my age, I have few regrets. In fact, the only regrets I have are over the things I’ve never done.’ She lists a few of the opportunities she has had but it would be imprudent of me to list them!

‘I think that the pandemic has reminded us of the value of community and helping each other. Despite the sense of division, I ultimately believe we will come out of it being a bit nicer to each other. Maybe we’ll break the bubbles that the rich and poor live in? I hope so. Maybe by drinking more bubbles together!’

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