a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


Another revenge poem and the story of my wife's nickname


Confusing the facts in autobiographies
Carl Djerassi Scientist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

You see that imagine... I could have bet anyone... I would’ve given you odds 100 to one not only that story was a scene in Koestler, but where it was. I remember it was up here, and you see it was a complete figment of my imagination. A complete figment. And that I think when I really realised... I really realised what horrendous mistakes one can make in that context and be absolutely convinced. And my wife who is a professional biographer and told me this as a biographer, which is totally different from autobiographers where you can check sources and crosscheck them, and she did this. In each case she wrote about people where most of the people... the... the actual people were dead. Anne Sexton, or Ted Hughes, or Sylvia Plath, and so on. But survivors are all still around and check and crosscheck and check their writings, and you find out what goes on there. And that’s... So that is a danger. This is now the caveat for the... for this entire interview and for everything that I’ve written. And if you’re really interested in me you’d have to read my fiction, or go to my plays, and that’s another topic that we’re not going to be discussing here.

Austrian-American Carl Djerassi (1923-2015) was best known for his work on the synthesis of the steroid cortisone and then of a progesterone derivative that was the basis of the first contraceptive pill. He wrote a number of books, plays and poems, in the process inventing a new genre, 'science-in-fiction', illustrated by the novel 'Cantor's Dilemma' which explores ethics in science.

Listeners: Tamara Tracz

Tamara Tracz is a writer and filmmaker based in London.

Tags: Diane Helen Wood Middlebrook, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Edward James Hughes

Duration: 1 minute, 6 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008