Everybody knows

Christina Gombar

  • Moral Hazard by Kate Jennings
    Fourth Estate, 180 pp, £10.00, April 2002, ISBN 1 84115 737 6

Fortysomething Cath, Australian, veteran of the barricades, self-described ‘bedrock feminist’ and ‘unreconstructed left-winger’, works for a down-town investment bank. Her much-loved husband, twenty-five years older, has Alzheimer’s, and for the first time in her life the free-spirit, freelance travel writer understands the need for real money. She becomes a speechwriter at Niedecker Benecke, a firm whose ethic is borrowed ‘in equal parts from the Marines, the CIA and Las Vegas’, where nothing ‘useful, or entertaining . . . that could be touched or enjoyed’ was ever made, and where ‘women were about as welcome as fleas in a sleeping bag.’

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