From the introduction to a forthcoming edition of her book On Michael Jackson, which was first published by Pantheon in 2006.
In the first year of the twenty-first century my American editor and I sat in a restaurant talking about Michael Jackson. We hailed his uncanny brilliance and mourned it too—thirty years of making music, dance, film; crisscrossing styles, genres, types, and tropes; confounding cultural codes. We brooded over the rumors and scandals that were turning him into an object of derision, even revulsion. We wanted, we said, to give him his due “before” (my editor’s words) “he self-destructs . . . before he’s destroyed,” my editor qualified, “and self-destructs.”