Next book



Entertaining story of a dynamic literary woman who sparked a fascinating life from the changing currents of the age.

An engagingly restrained portrait of an aristocratic woman whose marriages propelled her post–World War II political reach and literary accomplishments.

Descendant of the early American diplomat John Jay, Susan Mary (1918–2004), as she was always known, employed all the trappings of her privileged upbringing to create a purposeful, useful career. Raised largely abroad, as her father served as a diplomat around the world, Susan Mary demonstrated serious inquisitiveness at an early age and chose the men in her life with an eye to their power and influence. Her first husband, William Patten, served as economic analyst at the U.S. Embassy in Paris from 1945 to 1960, thus allowing Susan Mary a rare entrée into the difficult, exciting postwar remaking of Europe. There, she met Duff Cooper, British ambassador to Paris, who became her lover and fathered her first child. After Patten’s death, she married Joe Alsop, the influential editorial writer for the New York Herald Tribune, intimate of JFK and homosexual (Alsop told her outright), with whom she set up her formidable salon in Georgetown. Thin, fashionable, well informed, yet a little wicked, Susan Mary had what it took to be talked about, and the Alsops’ gatherings were the talk of Georgetown’s “glory years.” Eventually, Alsop’s rabid defense of the Vietnam War estranged many, including his wife, and they separated. In her mature years, Susan Mary achieved literary success with her published letters to longtime friend Marietta Tree. Paris-based author de Margerie paints in bold, bright outlines the compelling story of this Jamesian heroine.

Entertaining story of a dynamic literary woman who sparked a fascinating life from the changing currents of the age.

Pub Date: Nov. 26, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-670-02574-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

Next book


The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Next book



Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

Close Quickview