Tag Archives: memoir

A Call to Judge from Spoken Word in Paris: “Writers Get Violent – Le Match de Boxe”

A blind flaneur wanders into some preposterous situations from time to time. With a website like this one, preposterous situations also find him. This morning I was thrilled by an invitation to be a judge at the Writers Get Violent boxing match on Thursday night in Paris. Alas, I am in the States today, and I don’t know how I could get it together to cross the pond just now. Break my heart! Continue reading






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Ronald Reagan at 100: Is He The “Rubber Bustier” of the Republican Party? His Son Thinks So!

Today is the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth, an august occasion to be sure. So leave it to Beaver to upset the apple cart. Ron Reagan, irreverent son of the 40th President, says Republicans venerate his old man like a fetish. Ron still thinks of him fondly as “Dad” – the sunny 50s-60s type who could groan like Ward Cleaver when he caught the Beav smoking dope in the bedroom. Now Ron’s making the grand book tour to promote his piece of the legend, My Father at 100.






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Remembering Proust’s Swann in “The Hare with Amber Eyes”

I’m thinking about giving this book as a gift… and now I’m beseeching Santa to consider giving it to me, too! Edmund de Waal’s The Hare with Amber Eyes” tells the story of a family that included Charles Ephrussi, the prototype for Swann in Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu. Renoir immortalized him in The Luncheon of the Boating Party (he’s the gentleman in top hat seen in profile in the background). Here is Nancy Pearl’s thumbnail book review on NPR:






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You Gave Me a Mountain

One of the great scenes in my life, something like the great banquet scene in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, unfolded at my mother’s nursing home when an Elvis “stylist” crooned to us after the annual friends-and-family Thanksgiving dinner. Most of the ladies at our table, my mother included, didn’t know whether this Elvis was an impersonator or the real deal. But they remembered how to swoon.






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Robert Maplethorpe’s Iconic Image of Patti Smith

Patti Smith receives the National Book Award tonight for Just Kids, the memoir of her friendship with photographer Robert Maplethorpe. He took the photo of Smith on the cover of Horses, the debut album that made her the Queen of Punk in 1975. She told the story of how this iconic image was made in an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air






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