A rich record of the vicissitudes of publishing during an inimitable time and place.

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THE TENDER HOUR OF TWILIGHT

PARIS IN THE '50S, NEW YORK IN THE '60S: A MEMOIR OF PUBLISHING'S GOLDEN AGE

A dense, detailed, priceless eyewitness account of the making of a literary generation between Paris and New York.

A native of Pennsylvania, a Navy man, erstwhile teacher and AFS fellow living in Paris in the early 1950s on a shoestring, Seaver fell in with a group of expat writers and intellectuals turning out the English-language literary magazine Merlin, published by Alex Trocchi and Patrick Bowles. Seaver, who spoke French fluently and was in the process of completing graduate studies on James Joyce, had become acquainted with the writing of Samuel Beckett, also living in Paris but then fairly unknown although he had been publishing since the late ’20s. Seaver’s essay about Beckett and subsequent translations of his short work in the magazine helped spread the word about the brilliant but reclusive bilingual author, whom Seaver finally befriended and depicts here in wonderfully explicit passages. Other legendary figures Seaver encountered included the towering Jean-Paul Sartre, who graciously offered pieces from his own Les Temps modernes and urged him to publish Jean Genet. Gradually the magazine ventured into publishing books, inviting Olympia Press publisher Maurice Girodias to act as manager debuting with Beckett’s Watt. Marriage to young French violinist Jeanette—later his co-editor at Arcade Publishing and the editor of this posthumously published work—and two subsequent years in the Navy Reserves prompted Seaver to relocate to New York, where he segued naturally into the managing editor role at Grove Press, run by Barney Rosset, the English publisher of Beckett and many of the same incendiary authors Seaver had championed in France. Indeed, the press would make its name fighting pornography charges in the ’60s against D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer (and Capricorn) and William Burroughs’ Naked Lunch, and valiantly standing by Last Exit to Brooklyn and The Autobiography of Malcolm X, among many others.

A rich record of the vicissitudes of publishing during an inimitable time and place.

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-374-27378-1

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

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The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

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