Living Well Is the Best Revenge

Living Well Is the Best Revenge

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by Calvin Tomkins
     
 

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In this enchanting memoir, New Yorker writer Calvin Tomkins re-creates the privileged world of Gerald and Sara Murphy, two American originals who found themselves at the center of a charmed circle of artists and expatriate writers in France in the 1920s. Their home in Antibes, Villa America, served as a gathering place for Picasso and Léger as well as

Overview

In this enchanting memoir, New Yorker writer Calvin Tomkins re-creates the privileged world of Gerald and Sara Murphy, two American originals who found themselves at the center of a charmed circle of artists and expatriate writers in France in the 1920s. Their home in Antibes, Villa America, served as a gathering place for Picasso and Léger as well as Hemingway and Fitzgerald, who used the glamorous couple as models for Dick and Nicole Diver in
Tender Is the Night. A bestseller when it first appeared in 1971, Living Well Is the Best Revenge features sixty-nine intimate photographs collected from the Murphys' family album, along with reproductions
of several of Gerald Murphy's remarkable paintings—canvases that predate Pop Art by forty years.
        "Living Well Is the Best Revenge is
a superb little study, alive with an elegance very much the Murphys'," said Nancy Mitford. Critic Russell Lynes found the book to be "at once a sharp and charming evocation of an era and a cast, mostly delightful, surely famous, and usually talented, written with an elegant balance between tongue in cheek and sympathy."
        This Modern Library edition includes Calvin Tomkins's new Introduction and a rewritten last chapter.

Editorial Reviews

Time
A marvel of taste and economy, Living Well Is the Best Revenge manages to convey the originality and grace of the Murphy's life.
Modern Painters - Wendy Vogel
This is an amazing book. It's a story about this wonderful couple who were very influential in Europe in the art world, whom Calvin Tomkins met by accident and whom he befriended. Their names are Sara and Gerald Murphy. They were kind of esoteric, but it's an incredible story, when you think about what you need to live a successful life.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525482499
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
09/01/1982
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

Louis Auchincloss
The dichotomy between art and life permeates Tomkins's book and makes up its principle charm... [The Murphys] drew artists and writers to them ineluctably. After all, they were works of art while the others - Stein, Picasso, Hemingway, MacLeish, Fitzgerald - were only trying to create such works... [This is a] beautiful and evocative memoir... The charming and imperturbable Gerald Murphy [was] a master of the art of living.

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Living Well Is the Best Revenge (Modern Library Series) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Joyachiever More than 1 year ago
I admit that I found out about “Living Well Is The Best Revenge” by Calvin Tomkins through a past Spirit & Destiny Magazine issue. Belinda Carlisle was being interviewed and recommended the book. I felt an intuitive urge to go by Carlisle’s suggestion because she projected a sharing vibe of balancing earthly concerns with her spiritual life. I must say that “Living Well Is The Best Revenge” is a candid book that mainly centers around an upper class couple by the name of Sara and Gerald Murphy. In keeping with the theme of the title, the couple lives a rich life in France, but they also find time to spend with their children and the friends they meet in their new place. I admit that I enjoyed the features on their European travels the most and the pictures that include their various colorful friends. The Murphys also endured tragedy in their lives as well. For instance, page 125 features the tragic saga of The Murphys losing both sons before they reached adulthood. “Living Well Is The Best Revenge” by Calvin Tomkins is best for those who are curious about the lives of wealthy families who resided in Europe prior to the 1950’s.