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The Longform Society: Meeting #3: The Art of the Celebrity Profile
A good celebrity profile is a rare thing. Those that walk the line between quality writing, respect for the subject, and honouring the reader’s desire for a glimpse behind the curtain – while avoiding the murky depths of rumour mongering – are few and far between.
Some have made history, for good and bad reasons. Take the recent cringe-worthy profile of Brad Pitt in GQ (which in turn inspired the excellent companion piece by Marina Hyde in the Guardian), or the ones that created their own zeitgeist, such as Vanity Fair’s profile of Caitlyn Jenner, or profiles that become classics through the combination of celebrity of author and subject, such as Richard Flanagan’s analysis of David Walsh in the Monthly.
In this meeting of the Longform Society, Sophie Cunningham, Mel Campbell, Maxine Beneba Clarke and Cameron Adams discuss and dissect the writing that celebrates our ongoing fascination with celebrity, and some of the most memorable pieces by, or about, the superstars of our times.
The reading list
· 'On the Road with Julia Gillard: Sketches of a prime minister in her final months', by Chloe Hooper, from the Monthly
· 'Welcome to the Summer of Margot Robbie', by Rich Cohen, from Vanity Fair
· 'Dwayne Johnson for President!', by Caity Weaver, from GQ
· 'Frank Sinatra Has a Cold', by Gay Talese, from Esquire
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