Interview: Irma Kurtz set for appearance at 2014 Edinburgh Book Festival

This article is from 2014

Interview: Irma Kurtz set for appearance at 2014 Edinburgh Book Festival

Cosmopolitan magazine’s agony aunt shares wisdom in her memoir, My Life in Agony

Irma Kurtz has been dispensing advice to readers of Cosmopolitan’s problem page for 40 years now, counselling successive generations through the changing playing fields of sex, work and relationships. She’s pulled together some of the things she’s learned over the years in My Life in Agony, where she mixes her agony aunt wisdom with her memoirs of growing up in America, and being a single mum in London.

Five words to describe the style of advice that you give

Hopeful. Concise. Non-judgemental. Respectful. Advisory (not a command, so ‘could’ not ‘should’).

Four themes you find yourself always coming back to in your columns

Love, jealousy, self-esteem, self-discovery, friends and families.

Three things we really should know about the world

The world at last is ours – women’s too, to discover. Everything changes; whether for the better or the worse is up to us. When you know the situation is impossible, leave it.

Two things you need to have close by before your writing can start

I need my wits and my spectacles before I sit down at the keyboard.

One reason we should buy your book

To enjoy it.

Irma Kurtz: The Problem Solver’s Problems, Charlotte Square Gardens, Thu 14 Aug, 10am, £10 (£8).

My Life in Agony is out now, published by Alma Books.

Irma Kurtz

For four decades, the Cosmo Agony Aunt has been helping to solve readers’ problems, encompassing everything from eating disorders to bad behaviour in the office. In My Life in Agony, Irma Kurtz looks back on the social changes that informed her advice and reflects on the chaos of her own life as an American single mother…