Ready for My Close-Up

Ready for My Close-Up

Research for my novel The Great Pretenders (2019) concentrated on 1950’s Hollywood, the Blacklist Era, its antecedents and repercussions. Free to random read again, I found on my bookshelves Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New...
Boswell’s London Journal

Boswell’s London Journal

Vain, egotistical, preening, ribald, lascivious, libertine, high-spirited, chronically insecure, writer, adventurer, sycophant, proud Scotsman, unrepentant Londoner, these terms and many more describe James Boswell (1740–1795) literature’s first great biographer. I...
Olive Kitteridge

Olive Kitteridge

Early on in this pandemic moment (now evolved into a pandemic era) my friend Frances Howard-Snyder, pressed Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge, into my hands. Frances, a serious writer, serious Shakespeare aficionado, and professor of philosophy, is a person whose...
Gene Fowler

Gene Fowler

Gene Fowler is not what you call a stylist. Nowhere in his books do you pause over the beauty of a well-wrought sentence, the airy word-confection. But, oh, could he tell a story! Like the more renowned Joseph Mitchell, Fowler is a raconteur of the Old School, rooted...
The Club

The Club

Pity the poor biographers! They become psychic roommates with their subjects, giving up years to submerge their own lives in writing and research so they can render informed judgments supported by footnotes. When they finish the whole thing (I have heard biographers...

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