STRANGER AT THE PARTY: A Memoir by Helen Lawrenson


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Helen Lawrenson was one of those fireflies of the '20's and '30's who wrote one piece you may remember (Latins are Lousy Lovers), who dropped out of Vassar to work on a Syracuse newspaper before getting on Vanity Fair, and who lost her virginity and acquired syphilis at the same time. There were many other men to follow since she seems to have been inexhaustibly attractive, working all day, playing all night. Most of her book, written in patches (courtesy of Esquire), deals with those she knew best: Conde Nast (he of Vogue and Vanity Fair) who always had beautiful women; Bernard Baruch; a black Harlem hustler; and Clare Boothe Luce around whom she orbited (after all she couldn't quite compete with her). However she married and was always in sync with the co-founder of the National Maritime Union, an intellectual, charming Irishman who shared all her tastes including beer (she could keep up with him -- say forty a night). She tells her story with a woman-of-the-worldly candor and an assumption that you'll remember all those names she drops with throwaway ease. Seize the day that was.

Pub Date: April 21st, 1975
Publisher: Random House