IN MY OWN SWEET TIME by Blanche Cooney


An Autobiography
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 A beguilingly candid love story of the two radicals--the author and her husband, Jim--who founded the Phoenix, the quarterly that first published Henry Miller in the US. Despite their shared political sympathies--left wing and pacifist, though Jim had been expelled from the Communist Party for anarchist ``tendencies''--the Cooneys were in most other respects completely different from each other. Blanche was the daughter of Jewish Russian and Rumanian immigrants: Her father worked with mobsters like the notorious Lepke Buchalter, who once attended a family sabbath dinner, while her mother, an intellectual, wanted the author to become a scholar. Jim, on the other hand, came from a suburban and traditional Irish Catholic family that he rebelled against by moving to N.Y.C., where he wrote an acclaimed novel and was active in radical politics. The pair met in the Village and- -even though Jim was living with another woman--soon became lovers and then, in 1936, newlyweds. The Cooneys moved to a commune in Vermont, where--after an unsuccessful fund-raising trip to New Mexico, during which they met Frieda Lawrence--they began publishing the Phoenix, in which excerpts from Anais Nin's diary appeared, along with Miller's writings. War ended the publication, and for the rest of their long married life, the couple, now living on a Connecticut farm, struggled to implement their never fully realized communitarian ideals. In Connecticut, the Cooneys raised four children; entertained literary and artistic friends; were active in the antiwar movement of the 70's; and, though Jim grew moody as he aged, enjoyed their great love for each other until his death in 1985. A striking record of unwavering commitment, told without gloss or sentimentality--and, like the best autobiographies, with all the shading and narrative drive of a good novel.

Pub Date: June 15th, 1993
ISBN: 0-8040-0966-X
Page count: 246pp
Publisher: Ohio Univ.
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1993