Jeanette Winterson was first up, and I couldn't help but notice that the reviewers, led by Val McDermid, consistently referred to her as "Jeanette". This is the kind of thing I have to cure my students of, so I suppose my hackles are in a state of constant readiness. Were they being sexist and patronising? Or was it simply a reflection of the personal nature of the genre?
David Malouf's novel was next, and I was listening out to hear if anyone would have the chutzpah to refer to him as "David". As far as I remember, however, no one referred to him at all. They stuck to the text.
Then came Agassi. This too was a memoir (albeit a ghost-written one), but unlike Jeanette Winterson, Agassi was generally referred to simply by his surname, or as "Andre Agassi". At one point McDermid imagined addressing him - "Oh come on, Andre!" Otherwise, familiar first-name-only reference was absent.
What do we make of this? What would Lord David Cecil do?