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Grave of Alice B. Toklas: And Other Reports from the Past

Grave of Alice B. Toklas: And Other Reports from the Past

by Otto Friedrich

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A journalist for most of his working life, Friedrich ( Glenn Gould: A Life and Variations ) has collected in the process so many facts and anecdotes that each of the 13 essays here (some previously published in Esquire and Harper's ) is entertainingly packed with witty digression and opinion. In the title piece, he describes his attempt to find Toklas's grave in Pere-Lachaise cemetery in Paris, and detours into a touching memoir of his relationship with the elderly Californian, who had encouraged Friedrich as a neophyte novelist. Three articles are about music (on Mozart, on Scarlatti and ``On Watching Parsifal with Molly''), about which Friedrich denies he knows much--and proceeds to prove very informative. ``The Trial of Sergeant Walker'' gives the shocking background to the Hilton Head mutiny--which leaves the reader wondering why Abraham Lincoln is revered as the emancipator of slaves, given the craven treatment of black volunteers in the Union army. Most intriguing perhaps is the final essay, called simply ``Jimmy,'' a memoir of Friedrich's Paris acquaintanceship with the late James Baldwin. (Aug.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
These essays oscillate between Friedrich's historical interests and his varied life experience: in a Massachusetts high school; in postwar Paris; in the news media as a foreign reporter; in the world of opera and classical music. The journalistic background helps to define his style, as bright and detailed as a passing parade. What comes through above all is Friedrich's sociability and love of a good story. The world, past and present, is an entertaining spectacle from which, finally, he gleans more anecdote than insight. Anyone with a taste for European music, history, and travel would find enjoyment in these essays, but the best of the general magazines would serve just as well.-- Donald Ray, Mercy Coll. Lib., Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.

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Fromm International Publishing Corporation
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Product dimensions:
6.02(w) x 8.97(h) x 1.18(d)

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