This morning Tina Brown allowed the unwashed masses to ask questions about her new book about Princess Di. They also asked some other questions! And revealed way too much information about themselves:
Kensington, Md., USA: I am an Anglophile. I have traced my ancestry back to the 16th Century towns of Barchester and Holt, England.
My daughter is a university librarian/archivist living in England. For several years she was an employee of Conde Nast working in Hanover Square, London.
Guess what, lady? Tina Brown doesn't care. But she did say some funny Tina Brown-y things. And also, Walter Kirn? Is that you, asking a question?
Diana was crafty, if naive:
Pleasant Ridge, Mich.: Do you believe Prince Charles would have wed Camilla Parker had Princess Diana not died and was still alive?
Tina Brown: I think he would have found it very much harded to marry Camilla if Diana had been still there haunting his house. The public loved her so much and Diana would have found delicious, fiendish ways to have made it somehow impossible.
Tina's not a dinosaur:
Georgetown, Washington, D.C.:
Tina Brown: It has been truly marvelous to observe the light-speed changes in media distribution. But what�s moving just as fast are the ways that readers—that's you—are receiving that information and then bouncing it out again. All the world is now, literally, a critic. For publishers and authors that can be a daunting prospect. Mastering dynamic change also means that one must adapt. But I think the best approach is to engage this evolving dynamic is to engage it vigorously. Media is changing in unexpected and innovative ways, some of them harsh, but those changes must be viewed with a clear eye and met with an equally innovative response. Name your metaphor—dodo, ostrich, buggy whip or Betamax—hide from the change and it will hide from you.
We admit to being a tad perplexed about who this person is:
Missoula, Mont.: Ms. Brown: Since you published my one and only New Yorker piece, then ran a short Talk profile about me, I'll forever think of you as a very good editor, bordering on great. Now, since we're both biographers, we're on equal footing and I ask the question that I ask all my peers: If you could alter space and time and today — right now — ask Diana one question, what would that question be?
Now! Since someone on staff (stupid Choire) broke our New Yorker hard drive, we're not totally 100 percent sure here, but we did manage to find out that an excerpt from Thumbsucker was published probably around the time that Brown was editing, and Kirn, to the best of our knowledge, hasn't had anything published in the magazine since, and he lives in Montana. But would he describe himself as a biographer? Probably not. We're not really up on our Montana biographers, though. So who could this be? Brown, to her credit, we think, didn't take the bait:
Tina Brown: I would ask her: "Diana, why didn't you stay home with Dodi that night in Paris at his apartment when all the press was pursuing you. What was it that made you zigzag all over Paris like a hunted deer?"
She just doesn't care that she ran your piece. Okay? Now go back to tending the cows, or whatever it is you do out there in Missoula.