Namedropper - Tasks

Comprehension

Camden High Street. Photo.
Camden High Street
  1. Describe Treena’s looks and interests.
  2. Where does Treena live and how is her neighbourhood depicted?
  3. Why are Treena and Viva always late for school?
  4. How did Treena respond when she got a baby brother?
  5. Give examples of “hate crimes” that Treena has committed towards Marcus? Why does she want to punish him?
  6. Why does the narrator term Treena’s madness as “masculine”?
  7. Treena had tried her hand at babysitting and hairdressing. Explain why she had to quit her jobs.
  8. What annoys Viva about American sex symbols?
  9. In which ways is Treena an extraordinary girl?

Literary Analysis

  1. The opening of the novel resembles a certain fairy tale. Which famous fairy tale is associated with a gingerbread cottage, bread crumbs and an oven?
  2. What happened to the two protagonists (main characters) in the fairy tale? How does this differ from Viva’s relationship with the “super-shiny boy” ?
  3. Look up the meaning of “silver screen”. Why does Viva describe her friend as a “silver-screen goddess” and what does that indicate about Viva’s favourite preoccupation?
  4. Why do you think the author has chosen a first person narrator for her story? How does it affect the story?

Research

  1. Use the information provided in the introduction and the excerpt. What would Treena’s and/or Viva’s profiles on MySpace, Facebook or Twitter be like? Make their profiles.
  2. Study the excerpt and expand their profiles by including friends. What kind of friends do you think Treena and Viva would invite?
  3. Look up the lexical meaning of namedropping in an encyclopaedia. Find synonyms associated with it. What kind of connotations do the synonyms carry?
  4. Look up interviews with Emma Forrest, e.g. the one that Jane Bradley did for BitchBuzz.com and/or Rachel Cooke’s 2002 interview for the Observer and answer the questions:
    a. To what extent is Emma Forrest herself a celebrity?
    b. Judging from the excerpt, to which extent do you think that “Namedropper” is autobiographical?
  5. The Walk of Fame is a sidewalk in Hollywood imprinted with more than 2,000 stars featuring names of celebrities. Two Norwegian females have been honoured with stars. Do you know their names?
Marilyn Monroes star on Hollywood walk of fame. Photo.
Marilyn Monroe

Writing

Make a fictional interview with a celebrity that you admire.

Discussion

  1. Why is namedropping often regarded negatively? Do you find any positive aspects of namedropping?
  2. Many teenagers have idols. Make a list of teen idols. What do they have in common?
  3. How important is it to you to appear trendy and cool? Do you think it should be important?
  4. Name some trendy or cool labels and brands you know of? Make a list and compare between you. Are there many of the same names on all of the lists?
Calvin Klein poster. Photo.
Calvin Klein - Poster
Burberry bag. Photo.
Burberry