Novelist and the museum curator: a story of coincidence

two-beths-getty.jpgSanta Monica author and TV writer Robert Masello's novel "Bestiary" has a heroine who's a curator of medieval manuscripts at the Getty. Her name is Beth Cox. After the book came out, he got a call from a woman who, like his character, is a specialist in bestiaries. She, too, was named Beth — and she is a curator of medieval the Getty. Some of the rest you can probably predict, as Masello posts at the Getty blog.

while her last name wasn’t Cox—it was Morrison—she had indeed dated a guy named Cox (“whom my mother was dying for me to marry”). And after checking my website, she also discovered that she had been born in Princeton, New Jersey, where I’d gone to college, while she had gone to Northwestern in Evanston, Illinois, the town where I was born and raised. The coincidences went on from there, and as the real Beth put it in that e-mail, “I was quite pleasantly surprised to find that the basic material of my life could be intriguing enough for an author to invent it!”

Well, as you can guess, we had to meet in person, which we did, over lunch in the Getty cafeteria. Again, I saw that I had most of the details right—she was young, pretty, tall, but, disappointingly, a redhead. My Beth was a brunette. How could I have been so wrong?

No romance (that we know of), but they have become friends.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent Arts stories on LA Observed:
Look inland for more PST:LA/LA art
Bourne again: 'The Red Shoes'
Why the LA Times' new theater column needs a new name
Dancer Melissa Barak visits her Chagall costumes at LACMA
'Hamilton' in LA in the time of Trump
A Tchaikovsky cartoon (or not) and a Sondheim show stopper
Now on stage, the apocalypse
Cramming for LA's 'Hamilton,' Shakespeare's problematic "Me" plays


LA Observed on Twitter