When a book begins like this, notice must be taken: “I woke up, New Year’s Day 1970, in a straitjacket. I had no memory, of anything, at least not at first. I was in an asylum on Long Island after taking an overdose of some pills a shrink gave me. Slowly awareness arose. … I asked to have the jacket removed and they did. Bit by bit memories came back. I could recall details of my childhood. I remembered I’d married Cathy, my girlfriend, months ago when she turned eighteen … In a few days I felt normal.”
Although Albert Camus does not come up in WHO’S YOUR DEATH HERO? — a conversation between the filmmaker Richard Kern and the writer who goes by the name of Supervert — he would be my candidate in answer to the title. Camus’s declaration, “I want to keep my lucidity to the last and gaze upon my death with all the fullness of my jealousy and horror,” conveys precisely what this book is about as if he’d read it himself.
Readers wanted to know all about their celebrities, or at least about my encounters with them. From A-listers and B-listers right down to Z-listers. The whole stupid alphabet top to bottom. Names to be forgotten one day. They needed the publicity and I needed the job. I wasn’t a star fucker—I’ll say that, having come from the newsroom with no more interest in celebrities than any routine reporter. I was a stand-in for star fuckers.
Three Rooms Press has just published RAY BY RAY, a combination memoir-biography by Nicca Ray, daughter of the maverick Hollywood director Nicholas Ray, with an introduction by Samantha Fuller, daughter of another Hollywood maverick, the screenwriter/director Sam Fuller. The publisher will present a livestream book launch Saturday afternoon—May 9 @ 2pm-4pm EST — featuring the […]
. . . when it seems that everybody is looking back over their shoulder more with nostalgia than disgust. I am not immune. Scrolling through some old emails, I came across this one called “from NELSON ALGREN’S LETTERS TO RAJAH.” Rajah was Roger Groening, a friend of Nelson’s and later of mine. Roger died in 2015. I think of him often. He and Nelson became friends, initially by mail, when Roger wrote him a fan letter. They remained friends for some 20 years until Nelson’s death, in 1981.
“This worldly, richly layered adaptation of Sinclair Lewis’s 1929 novel is one of the triumphs of the storied career of director William Wyler—and that’s saying a lot.” (New York Film Festival.) The chapter about the making of “Dodsworth”—and what went on behind the scenes—also was among the most pleasurable to write for my biography of Wyler.
Meet Jim Haynes in a documentary. As I’ve written before: “I’ve never met Jim. We’ve only corresponded by email about the strange case or Orwell’s typewriter. But I know that he is a man for all reasons — pleasure, food, sex, mind, books, theater, life — and that to meet him in person all you have to do is show up at his door in Paris for dinner.”
The Acker Awards, now in their sixth year, are a tribute given to members of the avant-garde arts community who have made outstanding contributions in their discipline in defiance of convention, or else served their fellow writers and artists in outstanding ways. The award’s novelist namesake, in her life and work, exemplified the risk-taking and […]
The artist Tomi Ungerer has died at the age of 87. He was “a lifelong activist who protested against racial segregation, the Vietnam war and the election of US President Donald Trump . . .” Speaking about himself as an artist, Ungerer said, “I have the full respect of a piece of white paper, which I then shall rape with my drawing or my writing. When I draw, it’s the real me.”