This book is Gore Vidal's visual memoir of his remarkable and famously well-lived life. In this collection of photographs, letters, manuscripts, and other selections from Vidal's vast personal archives, readers are now escorted by one of America's wittiest insiders into the Kennedys' Camelot, as well as onto the set of Ben Hur, and into the private lives of Eleanor Roosevelt, Paul Newman, and Tennessee Williams, to name just a few.
Born into public life, Vidal looks back on his days as an Army officer in WWII, his rise as a groundbreaking and controversial novelist, his years in Hollywood, his forays into the political arena, and his notoriously public triumphs and feuds. Written with Vidal's legendary wit and literary elegance, this book reveals not only the personal reflections of one of the last of the great generation of American writers, but also a captivating social history of the 20th century told by one of our great raconteurs.
Vidal says in the preface: "During the fifty-four years that Howard Russell Auster and I shared a life, he took a great many photographs...to eventually make his own book. Upon his death...he left me his photographs and papers...As a memorial to him, I am now publishing them, with more notes describing the various occasions that we took part in, as well as a number of pictures from my life and times, now becoming, with time's passage, literally historic."
All the text is written by Vidal in his polished style, and kept succinct so we can see all 360 pictures, black & white and full color. He begins with the maternal family album headed by his grandfather, blind Senator Gore, and spiced by Gore's mother-to-be, Nina. Pass on to his handsome aviator dad, who served under FDR. There are no baby pictures, and we first see Gore at 3 or 4. Apparently he was blondish in his youth, went to name schools, and at 18 with WWII upon us, went into the army. While in the hospital for a knee injury, he began Williwaw, his first published novel (1946).
Gore always dressed well, and had the same high standard for his houses, photographed inside and out in beautiful color. His TV confrontations with Buckley and Mailer are captured, as well as his war of words with Capote. Great snapshots of beautiful landscapes of the Amalfi Coast, where Gore and Howard could relax, and enjoyed the company of Princess Margaret, Leonard Bernstein, Michael York, Mick Jagger, Andy Warhol, Johnny Carson, Tim and Susan Robbins.
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Abrams (October 1, 2009)
Condition: Brand New