If you’ve spent your career writing about the rich and famous you might reach the point where you're bored with bowing to the vanities & eccentricities of your subjects.
Your agent wants another title. But you have to find a new angle for an old subject. What is celebrity? The title suggests it is something to do with celebration, someone around whom exultation occurs, perhaps spontaneously.
But not all celebrities are objects of joy. In the world of power politics, some of the darkest and most sour of individuals have reached the top in recent times, the only celebration is when they’re gone.
So is it just fame then? Just a mathematical function of recognition? Which individuals out of 7 billion living souls stand out? Big followings on social media? Famous for 5 minutes?
Maybe. But this kind of fame for fame’s sake is curiously thin. It’s not the real thing.
This was the dilemma facing Helgar Osmath, the erstwhile hippie biographer, determined to return to her writing craft after a tumultuous period at the top of corporate America.
Helgar’s search for a subject leads her to a place where everything we take to be normal is absent. Even the basic skills of living must be re-learned.
What does it mean to be senior here, in this tribal backwater? What can this alien culture teach us? Is her chief and his tribe’s way of life worthy of celebration, is he a true celebrity?
Above all, will Helgar be allowed to find the answers when the world she left behind begins to quake with disasters? Does it really deserve to be saved?