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White and Sorin's Paris isn't exactly like yours or mine: High-fashion designer Azzedine Alaãa lives next door, Julian Schnabel is their host for dinner, and White has the enviable opportunity to introduce another Julian (Barnes) to Tina Turner. ``I haven't read Flaubert's Parrot yet, but I have it on my bedside table,'' she assures the author. This delightful little book is full of such snippets of harmless gossip, often about the not-so- famous people who are indispensable to Parisian life: the concierge, the fruit-and-vegetable man, the cafÇ waiters who serve croissants to Fred, the authors' basset hound. White is, of course, the author of novels (A Boy's Own Story, 1982, etc.) and an award- winning biography of Jean Genet (1993). Sorin was his lover, an architect turned illustrator who died last year of AIDS. They embarked on this joint project during Sorin's illness. It is remarkable, then, how full of life his witty drawings are, and White's text is written in the same spirit, acknowledging but never succumbing to Sorin's impending death. ``Despite the sometimes catty sound of this book, . . . its subtext is love,'' he writes.

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 1995

ISBN: 0-679-44166-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1995

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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