Is That Writer REALLY On Twitter?

by |February 7, 2014

Spending time on twitter chatting about books, you can find yourself coming across some curious accounts.

Putting aside the unsettling cultural climate that has made Angelina Jolie’s leg and Pharrell Williams’ hat celebrities in their own right, many of your favourite writers are spilling their wisdom on twitter, even the long deceased.

You can follow @Shakespeare, @ProustTweet or even the witticisms of @DailyJaneAusten, yet the most curious aspect of a book nerd’s time on twitter isn’t deciding which 17th century Italian poet to follow (there are plenty), it is deciding whether a living writer’s tweets are actually from the writer.

Possibly the most popular author on twitter is Margaret Atwood. She’s worth a follow. If only for gems like this…

Atwood

It’s hardly a surprise someone as forward thinking as Margaret Atwood has embraced twitter, but what of some more unlikely authors? Did you know for example that Thomas Keneally is on twitter?

TK

We were unsure of it for the first couple of weeks until we asked him in person. He absolutely loves it.

Also in the curious pile is one Salman Rushdie. Not the most gregarious public identity (although after years of forced hermitism it’s hardly his fault), Salman is quite prolific on twitter.

Although if you want to get in touch with the Man Booker Prize winner right now, he’s on hiatus…

In the last month a couple of our favourite Australian authors have appeared on twitter.

As ever the question is, are these accounts really set up by the authors themselves? Are Alex Miller and David Malouf really on twitter now?

The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind. And by wind I mean who they follow. They both follow us, so while they have impeccable taste, you can usually tell if an account is real or not by their other interests. You see, Margaret Atwood follows these people…

Salman follows these people…

New to twitter, our own Thomas Keneally follows these people…

But what of the accounts of Alex Miller and David Malouf? ‘Tis a curious tale. You see, Alex Miller follows…

AM - Following

And Miles Franklin winner David Malouf? Well, he follows…

Is Alex Miller a Titanic fan? Could David Malouf be rocking out to the Black Eyed Peas? We sit. We wait. Needless to say, the jury is out.

Authors you should be following…

Ladd Birmingham Bradley HK Damon

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About the Contributor

Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.

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