Unreliable Memoirs a biography of Chloe Thurlow Part I by Elizabeth Woodham She is a work of art – a work in progress – a wonder to behold. Chloe has a secret life. She conceals as much as she reveals in her novels and short stories. Is she Bella in The Secret Life of Girls?
‘Eroticism, it may be said, is assenting to life up to the point of death.’ The quote is by Georges Bataille, the one man from history I would have jumped straight into bed with, if only to have learned more about eroticism. Before Bataille, I flirted with Albert Camus, Henry Miller and Martin Amis, whose novel The Rachel Papers I read with a torch after lights out. I rejected Jean-Paul
Eros had curly dark hair tumbling over green eyes and sulky full lips. We met when I was a teenager staying with his family in Paris to improve my French. His real name was Yves, but that night when he slipped down the dark corridor into my bedroom, I felt as if I were in the sculpting hands of Eros. Eros is the Greek word for love. The French in
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage – Anais Nin. Those few words by Anais Nin hit me like a revelation at university and I decided that from that moment on I would say yes when I should have said no, and no when I should have said yes. I made a vow to become more courageous and closed the door on my stifling world of private schools, sameness
I met a man at party who asked the inevitable: ‘What do you do?’ to which I replied, ‘I write erotic novels.’ That always shuts people up for a moment. You can say romance novels or mystery or history, but erotic makes them give you a quick look up and down to see if you are carrying a bullwhip and a pair of handcuffs. ‘Novels. Mmm, how many?’ ‘Five,’ I said