Katy Brand is an award-winning writer, comedian and actor. After starting to write and perform comedy as a student at Oxford University, she became a regular on the UK live sketch comedy scene. In 2005 she took her debut Edinburgh show Celebrities are Gods to the Fringe and it was immediately picked up for Channel 4. This later became her award-winning ITV sketch show, Katy Brand’s Big Ass Show, which she devised, wrote and starred in. It ran for three series and later became a nationwide live tour. She has appeared in films, TV and on the radio. Katy currently presents the Penguin Podcast for Penguin Books
Now she has written an extraordinary book about her favourite film. I Carried a Watermelon is a love story to Dirty Dancing. It is a warm, witty and accessible look at how her life-long obsession with the film has influenced her own attitudes to sex, love, romance, rights and responsibilities.
“I Carried a Watermelon is a book that, deep down, I now realise I have always wanted to write, so when the idea came, it came suddenly – a memoir, and homage to my favourite film, ‘Dirty Dancing’, covering my own adolescent obsession, and the impact it’s had on millions of fans. At last I can argue that the several hundred times I have watched it now count as legitimate research. And I’m so pleased to be working with HQ, Harper Collins – they said yes so fast I felt I must be in a dream … I’m about to have the time of my life”.
Harper Collins say:
“One of the most celebrated and viewed films ever made is about to get its own love letter, and frankly, it’s about time,”
The book explores the legacy of the film, from pushing women’s stories to the forefront of commercial cinema, to its ‘Gold Standard’ depiction of abortion according to leading pro-choice campaigners, and its fresh and powerful take on the classic ‘coming of age’ story told from a naïve but idealistic 17-year-old girl’s point of view.
Part memoir based on a personal obsession, part homage to a monster hit and a work of genius, Katy will explore her own memories and experiences, and talk to other fans of the film, to examine its legacy as a piece of filmmaking with a social agenda that many miss on first viewing. One of the most celebrated and viewed films ever made is about to have the time of its life.
Praise for I Carried a Watermelon:
‘It takes a true obsessive to open the mind especially to something one has always taken for granted. I knew I loved DIRTY DANCING but I didn’t know why. Now, thanks to Katy Brand’s hilarious, touching, bonkersly true book, I do. One of the best reads of the year.’ Emma Thompson
‘This is a book to massively enjoy (as I did) and then immediately hand on to your daughter (as I did)! I’m off to watch Dirty Dancing again immediately, and so will you when you read this gem.’ Dawn French
‘An honest, moving, hilarious journey into how our youthful passions shape the people we become. Katy is the finest dance partner to take you on this journey.’ Shappi Khorsandi
‘A joyous, funny, personal page-turner. I read it in one sitting.’ Deborah Frances-White, The Guilty Feminist
‘… a witty, endearing and surprisingly political take on her lifelong obsession with Dirty Dancing’ The Bookseller’
I Carried a Watermelon will be published in hardback, eBook and audio in October 2019.
Katy Brand is appearing at the Berwick Literary Festival on 20th October @ 2:00 pm in the Guildhall.