Last week, at a book party for J. Michael Lennon’s Norman Mailer: A Double Life, a 900-page authorized biography of the author, who died in 2007, a good deal of literate septuagenarians gathered at Mailer’s old home near Pineapple Street in Brooklyn. It was once on the market for $2.5 million but has remained in the Mailer family, just as the old patriarch would have wanted it.
Longtime friends, colleagues and admirers of Gore Vidal gathered in the currently patriotically decorated Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre—where Mr. Vidal’s 1960 play The Best Man is playing through September 9—on Thursday afternoon to pay their respects to the recently departed writer. The mood was serious yet not solemn as many who were likely humbled to be counted among Mr. Vidal’s contemporaries took the stage to recount memories and share anecdotes from their own experiences with the man.
Reading selections from his own eulogy for Mr. Vidal and praising his friend’s great wit, Dick Cavett recounted many of Mr. Vidal’s most celebrated one-liners. His favorite, he told the audience: “Success is not enough. One’s friends must fail.”
“Whenever my friend succeeds, I die a little,” was another Vidal aphorism recalled to much laughter, and, reading a line from a message prepared by David Mamet for the memorial, Liz Smith decreed Mr. Vidal “smart enough to see through the self-interest of everyone except himself.” Yet none of this seemed to remotely deter the hordes of successful friends who seemed to be endlessly seeking his advice.
While the late playwright, novelist and essayist is celebrated at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, where a revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man is currently running, friends, family and fans will have a chance to say goodbye to Mr. Vidal one last time on August 23rd, when the theater will host a public celebration of the accomplished writer.
A glance at Twitter these days might prompt one to wonder why all of our celebrities are suddenly expiring en masse. It used to be said that deaths come in threes—now the daily news cycle arrives like a plague, cutting down one cultural luminary after another.
Of course, notable deaths aren’t on the upswing—but chatter Read More
Spring Arts Preview
Newsies (Nederlander Theatre, March 29)
The next crop of child actors on par with the Billy Elliott kiddos or whoever’s riding the War Horse may be the early-edition-toting stars manqué of the season’s first movie adaptation. (They’ll be helped along by a Harvey Fierstein book and the direction of Jeff Calhoun, fresh off Bonnie and Read More
NOT EVERY KENNEDY BOOK (see page 39) is about a sinister, implausible conspiracy that ends in violent death and wrenching national tragedy. Margaret Leslie Davis’ Mona Lisa in Camelot (Da Capo, $24.95), which was excerpted in last month’s Vanity Fair, brings back all the glamour and high hopes of the Kennedy White House with the Read More
On the one hand, it was announced that The Traveler, the picture book he wrote with his brother for Farrar, Straus & Giroux will be published in collaboration with Starbucks. On the other, he is probably worrying at least a little bit about his old boss, who according to the Associated Read More
WHEN GORE VIDAL is on a tear, outrage and wit blend to produce a new, delicious and deadly substance, like sulfuric Champagne or a napalm martini. Consider, for example, an especially corrosive—and funny—essay on the twinned destiny of gays and Jews, "Pink Triangle and Yellow Star," originally published in The Nation in 1981 and newly Read More
This week, Esquire.com posted the magazine’s most recent "What I’ve Learned" interview with Gore Vidal.
While Mr. Vidal’s interview was as erudite and prickly as the great man himself (samples: "’You got to meet everyone—Jackie Kennedy, William Burroughs.’ People always put that sentence the wrong way around. I mean, why not put Read More
Jon Bon Jovi may no longer be headlining, but the organizers of this summer’s Book Expo 2007 don’t feel any less young and hip for that.
Just look at the Web site! In its press area, there’s a special corner for bloggers (BookExpo America Loves Bloggers!).
Elsewhere, there’s a Read More