I'LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS!

A MEMOIR

Raconteur Buchwald (Leaving Home, 1993, etc.) checks in with the second installment of his memoirs. It's full of lively anecdotes, and dropped names are as plentiful as autumn leaves in the Bois de Boulogne. Picking up the narrative where Leaving Home left off, Buchwald blithely relates what happened after he landed, in 1948, what may have been the world's greatest postwar job: writing for the Herald Tribune in Paris. As an entertainment columnist and food critic for the paper, Buchwald got to know, close up, corporate bigwigs, politicians, showbiz luminaries, and other assorted stars of the International Set. While he was earning $25 a week, young Art hobnobbed with the likes of Truman Capote and Elvis Presley, Thornton Wilder and J. Paul Getty. He did a one-night stand as a waiter at Maxim's. He crashed fancy dress balls. He helped further Prince Rainier's courtship of Grace Kelly, and he mediated (with hilarious results) a dispute between the Greek magnates Onassis and Niarchos. He challenged Rex Harrison (who had taken umbrage at one of his columns) to a duel. (Harrison didn't show.) By dint of sincere application and a droll gift for puncturing pomposity wherever he found it, he rose to the position of bon vivant wonderfully. Even better, he found and married the redoubtable Ann, and they in turn adopted three children. Ultimately, though, the high life took its toll; there was a struggle with depression and a period of separation from Ann. On the whole, however, the memoir is about the fun and romance of a now vanished time. ``All of my writing since,'' Buchwald notes, ``has been the result of my landing that job on the Trib.'' While this current installment is not as Dickensian as the widely praised Leaving Home, Buchwald's self-deprecating wit is in full display. Some stories are unabashedly sentimental; all are entertaining. Paris never looked better. (First printing of 100,000; $100,000 ad/promo; author tour)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 1996

ISBN: 0-399-14187-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1996

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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