Next book

DWELL TIME

A MEMOIR OF ART, EXILE, AND REPAIR

A masterful revelation about life and art imitating each other in maintenance and repair.

An art conservator’s personal and professional memoir.

From the coasts of Cuba to Israel’s Mediterranean shores, Lowinger, the author of Tropicana Nights, interweaves her life story with insights drawn from her career in art conservation and restoration. Fleeing rising antisemitic sentiment in Eastern Europe and landing somewhat accidentally in Cuba, the author’s family became immigrants twice over when they left their successful dry-goods stores and Fidel Castro’s communist autocracy for Miami. “We’d lost an island, but gained America,” she writes. “Refugees around the world were clamoring to get into this amazing country.” Though her parents saw some financial success in their new country and Lowinger herself rose from a small South Beach apartment to build a successful art restoration practice, the generational weight of dreams foregone, marital tensions, and homelands left behind, wormed indelibly into the family. Undercurrents of violent tempers, indignation, and self-doubt hum throughout the text, with the author’s simple, straightforward prose and humble anecdotes belying her impressive professional stature, particularly as one of the few Latinas in the field. Lowinger offers detailed but approachable explanations of materials and techniques used in her work as metaphors (some more cohesive than others) for life’s ups and downs, from personal experiences of marriage and divorce to societal reckonings with racial, political, or economic injustice. As she acquired the skills, experience, and judgment required to lead prolific restoration projects, she began to understand, forgive, and love the places and people she came from, both physically and psychologically. Willing to immerse herself in the complexities and contradictions that mark Cuba, her family, and herself, without rushing to erase them, the author leaves readers with respect for the hazy, ever-moving line between remedy and disease and between making something better and destroying it completely, in life as well as in art.

A masterful revelation about life and art imitating each other in maintenance and repair.

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2023

ISBN: 9781955905275

Page Count: 360

Publisher: Row House Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2023

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 77


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Next book

TANQUERAY

A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 77


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

A former New York City dancer reflects on her zesty heyday in the 1970s.

Discovered on a Manhattan street in 2020 and introduced on Stanton’s Humans of New York Instagram page, Johnson, then 76, shares her dynamic history as a “fiercely independent” Black burlesque dancer who used the stage name Tanqueray and became a celebrated fixture in midtown adult theaters. “I was the only black girl making white girl money,” she boasts, telling a vibrant story about sex and struggle in a bygone era. Frank and unapologetic, Johnson vividly captures aspects of her former life as a stage seductress shimmying to blues tracks during 18-minute sets or sewing lingerie for plus-sized dancers. Though her work was far from the Broadway shows she dreamed about, it eventually became all about the nightly hustle to simply survive. Her anecdotes are humorous, heartfelt, and supremely captivating, recounted with the passion of a true survivor and the acerbic wit of a weathered, street-wise New Yorker. She shares stories of growing up in an abusive household in Albany in the 1940s, a teenage pregnancy, and prison time for robbery as nonchalantly as she recalls selling rhinestone G-strings to prostitutes to make them sparkle in the headlights of passing cars. Complemented by an array of revealing personal photographs, the narrative alternates between heartfelt nostalgia about the seedier side of Manhattan’s go-go scene and funny quips about her unconventional stage performances. Encounters with a variety of hardworking dancers, drag queens, and pimps, plus an account of the complexities of a first love with a drug-addled hustler, fill out the memoir with personality and candor. With a narrative assist from Stanton, the result is a consistently titillating and often moving story of human struggle as well as an insider glimpse into the days when Times Square was considered the Big Apple’s gloriously unpolished underbelly. The book also includes Yee’s lush watercolor illustrations.

A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-27827-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 29


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Next book

LOVE, PAMELA

A juicy story with some truly crazy moments, yet Anderson's good heart shines through.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 29


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

The iconic model tells the story of her eventful life.

According to the acknowledgments, this memoir started as "a fifty-page poem and then grew into hundreds of pages of…more poetry." Readers will be glad that Anderson eventually turned to writing prose, since the well-told anecdotes and memorable character sketches are what make it a page-turner. The poetry (more accurately described as italicized notes-to-self with line breaks) remains strewn liberally through the pages, often summarizing the takeaway or the emotional impact of the events described: "I was / and still am / an exceptionally / easy target. / And, / I'm proud of that." This way of expressing herself is part of who she is, formed partly by her passion for Anaïs Nin and other writers; she is a serious maven of literature and the arts. The narrative gets off to a good start with Anderson’s nostalgic memories of her childhood in coastal Vancouver, raised by very young, very wild, and not very competent parents. Here and throughout the book, the author displays a remarkable lack of anger. She has faced abuse and mistreatment of many kinds over the decades, but she touches on the most appalling passages lightly—though not so lightly you don't feel the torment of the media attention on the events leading up to her divorce from Tommy Lee. Her trip to the pages of Playboy, which involved an escape from a violent fiance and sneaking across the border, is one of many jaw-dropping stories. In one interesting passage, Julian Assange's mother counsels Anderson to desexualize her image in order to be taken more seriously as an activist. She decided that “it was too late to turn back now”—that sexy is an inalienable part of who she is. Throughout her account of this kooky, messed-up, enviable, and often thrilling life, her humility (her sons "are true miracles, considering the gene pool") never fails her.

A juicy story with some truly crazy moments, yet Anderson's good heart shines through.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2023

ISBN: 9780063226562

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

Close Quickview