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  • Biography & Memoir
  • Religion & Inspiration

Margaret A. Harrell

From childhood, Margaret A. Harrell determined to be a writer and in her early twenties went to famous literary cafes in Montparnasse (Paris) to begin her novel. Immediately after that she began her copy editor days at Random House (during which time she was assigned Hunter Thompson's first book, Hell's Angels). A three-time fellow of MacDowell Colony, she recently authored the memoir series: "Keep This Quiet! My Relationship with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky, and Jan Mensaert"; "Keep THIS Quiet Too! More Adventures with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky,  ...See more >


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"Memoir will likely please Hunter S. Thompson fans and appeal to readers with an interest in the beginnings of the post-modern era or the personal sacrifices involved in bringing serious written work to fruition"

Kirkus Reviews

BOOKS REVIEWED BY KIRKUS:

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-0983704508
Page count: 258pp

Harrell’s memoir details her relationships with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky and Jan Mensaert, and how these partners influenced her life by the way in which they lived their own.

Harrell (Toward a Philosophy of Perception, 2005, etc.) becomes acquainted with the self-styled “Gonzo” journalist Thompson while helping to edit his first book, Hell’s Angels (1967). She meets the Belgian poet Jean-Marie (Jan) Mensaert by chance outside a coffeehouse in Marrakech, and she discovers New York poet Milton Klonsky in a West Village bistro. Though disparate in age, temperament and locale, all three attracted the author because of her sense that they symbolized the zeitgeist of the 1960s and the coming post-modern era. Each man was fiercely individualistic, consciously deciding to live on his own terms in his life and work. For their part, all were physically attracted to Harrell, as well as finding in her a kindred spirit. Her relationship with Thompson is the only one that ever becomes, for a brief period, physical. Harrell’s deep emotional attachment to the men sometimes undermines her explanations about why she thought each of them possessed genius. There is scant example of their actual writing, the focus being on their struggles—with varying degrees of success—to be properly acknowledged for it. Trying to describe how she knew the men were important writers, she resorts to language like “falling into vibrations” in their presence or quotes bits of conversations she had with them. For instance, Klonsky tells her, “Write it, your life, as you would write a novel.” Still, there is a sense in which her personal, subjective approach is often effective; the reader comes to feel an affinity with the trio of writers in their attempts to achieve their iconoclastic visions of success, glimpsing them as individuals beyond their work, seeing how they think. Their genius, for Harrell, consisted of their being wholly themselves.

Memoir will likely please Hunter S. Thompson fans and appeal to readers with an interest in the beginnings of the post-modern era or the personal sacrifices involved in bringing serious written work to fruition.

 

ADDITIONAL WORKS AVAILABLE:

KEEP THIS QUIET TOO!
Memoir

"Keep THIS Quiet Too!" is “a passionately written memoir that doesn’t sit around being fit and proper and straight laced. . . . As a key to the lives of these three writers it is idiosyncratic and in age where blandness is the norm, it is a pleasure to go on her journey and find out a little about what made these men tick and what drove her to them”—Eric Jacobs, "Beat Scene" (UK). "Keep THIS Quiet Too!" takes place in Morocco, Belgium, Switzerland, and the United States as Margaret pits wits with--and learns from--Gonzo creator, Hunter S. Thompson, New York City poet-genius Milton Klonsky, and her eventual husband, Belgian poet Jan Mensaert. At one point, trying desperately to find her, Hunter writes, "Dear Margaret, Where are you and why? I've lost track completely. My last definite word was from a toilet-hole in Algiers." Hunter wants her to work on his next manuscript. This is 1971. Moving from 1970 (Belgium/Cairo) to 1986 (the Jung Institute Zurich), the book ends up fittingly at Owl Farm. Where else could the last chapter - really last two chapters - take place? There, Hunter is in fine form, trying to take the romance to the next level. Actually, they both are intent on it.

Published:
ISBN: 978-0983704539
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KEEP THIS QUIET TOO! MORE ADVENTURES WITH HUNTER S. THOMPSON, MILTON KLONSKY, JAN MENSAERT
Memoir, biography

FROM POET RON WHITEHEAD: “Margaret A. Harrell has done it again. In her brutally compassionately explicitly honest second autobiography "KEEP THIS QUIET TOO! More Adventures with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky, Jan Mensaert," Harrell manages to repeatedly pull the rug out from under the reader. She travels from North Carolina to New York City to Morocco to Belgium to India to Switzerland to Owl Farm, and many other places,...in search of her self. From depth psychology to dream analysis to hangoutologies to ecstatic love making to out of body astral travels to spirit guides, adventures and misadventures, she is guided and guides herself ever homeward to her own heart and soul.” NEW from Beat Scene # 70, UK: “Following on from the whirlwind that was volume one, Margaret Harrell returns with more adventures involving three particular men in her life, Milton Klonsky, Jan Mensaert and Hunter S. Thompson. She was a top editor in her time - she worked on Thompson’s Hell's Angels. A passionately written memoir that doesn’t sit around being fit and proper and straight laced.” FROM MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW: “… a real-life saga of living and learning with eyes and ears open. At times adventurous, at times sensual, Keep This Quiet Too! hinges upon the complexities of human relationships, especially the challenges posed by the heart-wrenching feelings of love that may or may not be fully requited. Highly recommended.” BACK COVER: “Margaret Harrell baited the hook and I bit. Boy did I bite. . . She used titillation, and a masterful way of revealing herself to build engrossment, starting with Keep This Quiet! ANY thinking, living person will be locked in from the beginning.” Martin Flynn, HST Books

Published:
ISBN: 978-0983704539
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KEEP THIS QUIET! III INITIATIONS (Unpublished)
Memoir/spirituality

Keep THIS Quiet! III—Initiations begins in the C. G. Jung Institute Zurich, where Margaret was enrolled in studies in 1984. She is headed for a big initiation there, which she narrates for us—showing how initiations are life-transforming. Notably, she also dives into the debate between physicist Wolfgang Pauli and psychiatrist Carl Jung about how science/matter and psyche/spirit/synchronicity emerge from a unified psychophysical realm. Dreams lend assistance to the memoir journey, as do the brilliant Jung-Pauli letters. Exercises in the back offer practical help in how to work with energy. Bacd cover: “Jung & Pauli . . . Courageously, competently Harrell guided this reader through mazes of scientific exploration, all the while keeping her engaging ‘anima’ voice as lure to read on”—Puanani Harvey, Advanced Studies Coordinator, New Mexico Society of Jungian Analysts; "Margaret has done an amazing job witnessing for us all the deep path of walking with the Self. She has presented this information, while weaving the amazing discovery of the multi-layers of psychology and the depth the journey it revealed"—Jyoti, Spiritual Director, Center for Sacred Studies


KEEP THIS QUIET! IV: MORE INITIATIONS (Unpublished)
Spirituality memoir

In "Keep This Quiet!" IV: "More Initiations," Margaret A. Harrell dives deeper into the world of visions, computer-PK (mental influence over the computer), divine guidance, the psychologist Carl Jung, and science. The story takes place in the '90s in Tienen, Belgium, where assorted parapsychological phenomena accompany the death of her housemate. Quickly checking in with Hunter Thompson, she winds up at Owl Farm, then returns (via the Bay Area) to her Flemish home base. Initiations welcome her back and she goes further onto her path, which spans spirituality and the quantum mind, Hunter Thompson and the Indian guru Dhyanyogi-ji, whose tradition of Kundalini Maha Yoga she is initiated into. Many traditions join hands, to make "a book of wonder—spirit, ghosts, hope, mysticism, mystery," writes Alice Osborn, author of "Heroes without Capes."
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Meeting Hunter Thompson in Person - Keep This Quiet!