LILY BRETT / Lola Bensky

Monday, October 7, 2013 - 7:30pm



Lola Bensky is a nineteen-year-old rock journalist who irons her hair straight and asks a lot of questions. A high-school dropout, she’s not sure how she got the job – but she’s been sent by her Australian newspaper right to the heart of the London music scene at the most exciting time in music history: 1967.
Lola spends her days planning diets and interviewing rock stars. In London, Mick Jagger makes her a cup of tea, Jimi Hendrix (possibly) propositions her and Cher borrows her false eyelashes. At the Monterey Pop Festival, Lola props up Brian Jones and talks to Janis Joplin about sex. In Los Angeles, she discusses being overweight with Mama Cass and tries to pluck up the courage to ask Cher to return her false eyelashes.

Lola has an irrepressible curiosity, but she begins to wonder whether the questions she asks these extraordinary young musicians are really a substitute for questions about her parents’ calamitous past that can’t be asked or answered. As Lola moves on through marriage, motherhood, psychoanalysis and a close relationship with an unexpected pair of detectives, she discovers the question of what it means to be human is the hardest one for anyone – including herself – to answer.


Lily Brett was born in Germany to survivors of the Auschwitz death camp, and migrated to Australia with her parents in 1948. She grew up in Melbourne, where she began her career as a writer for Australia’s first music magazine, Go-Set. There, she became one of the magazine’s leading reporters, covering stories in London, New York, and the Monterey Pop Festival. Brett is one of Australia’s most loved and prolific authors. She and her husband, Australian painter David Rankin, have three children and live in New York.