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Michele Macfarlane’s The Au Pair Launched in Cape Town

Lisa Chait and Michelle Macfarlane

Michelle Macfarlane and MarizetteThe Au PairThere was a huge crowd of fans, friends and photographers for the launch of Michele Macfarlane’s The Au Pair, a true story about the author and mother falling madly in love – with another woman.

The Au Pair is Macfarlane’s account of what happened when her life was turned upside down when she met Marizette, a pretty and much younger au pair, who moved into Michele’s home to look after her three children. In what Macfarlane describes as her “elevator pitch”, she said: “it is a coming-out story, a love story, as well as a story about family”.

Guest speaker Lisa Chait, former 567 Cape Talk host, asked Macfarlane several questions about the process of writing her book. “Your book is very open and graphic about your personal life, and lesbian sex”, she said, “so what made you decide to put yourself on the line for this bare-all story?”.

Macfarlane said that she was prompted by other women to tell the story. “They would say to me ‘if you don’t write this story – I will!’”. Macfarlane joked that she would often write the lesbian sex scenes to cheer herself up, in order to make herself feel better when times were tough. “I thought I would just write everything, with the idea that I would leave it out later when it was edited. But in the end, much of the, ahm, scintillating details were kept”.

Chait then asked Macfarlane’s son Jacob about how he felt about his mother’s transformation. “Whatever makes her happy, makes me happy,” he said.

“And the sex scenes?” asked Chait.

“Well, if anyone at school bothers me about it, I’ll just ask them ‘did you buy the book?’ – then they will be the ones who will feel embarrassed.”

Chait said that Macfarlane’s book is getting a lot of attention from film makers, and joked that if there ever were a casting, Demi Moore and Charlize Theron would be perfect for the roles. But to be honest, Macfarlane rocks the short-crop do better than Demi ever did, and what with her experience the at Coventry Centre for Performing Arts, she could probably do the job too!

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