Quintana & Friends

Quintana & Friends

by John Dunne
     
 

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“Dunne has a wicked eye for the telling details, an uncanny ear for the revealing phrase.”—The New York Times.

Quintana & Friends gathers thirty-three brilliant essays written by a pioneer of New Journalism between 1963 and 1978. John Gregory Dunne's gifts for keen reportage, subtle storytelling, and articulate opinion on full

Overview

“Dunne has a wicked eye for the telling details, an uncanny ear for the revealing phrase.”—The New York Times.

Quintana & Friends gathers thirty-three brilliant essays written by a pioneer of New Journalism between 1963 and 1978. John Gregory Dunne's gifts for keen reportage, subtle storytelling, and articulate opinion on full display, he covers topics ranging from the Hollywood machine to America’s last fight club to departure day for young soldiers shipping out to Viet Nam. In a celebrated baseball essay, he follows San Francisco Giant outfielder Willie Mays as the slugger seeks to break the National League career home-run record, his portrait capturing a prickly veteran not shy, in an age before PR handlers for athletes, of expressing his annoyance with reporters. In “Sneak,” Dunne brings us inside Twentieth-Century Fox’s Minneapolis advance screening of the movie Dr. Doolittle. In “Quebec Zero,” he spends 24 hours underground with a crew of four young men manning nuclear missiles aimed at the Soviet Union, Dunne’s goal “to see how it worked on the mind, to have World War III only an arm’s length away.”

In the title essay, Dunne writes of raising his adopted daughter Quintana with wife Joan Didion, speculating about the day the girl might wish to seek out her birth mother. In “Friends,” he writes movingly of a best friend, screenwriter Josh Greenfield, father to an autistic son. “Eureka” celebrates Los Angeles. “Pauline” famously takes down revered New Yorker movie critic Pauline Kael. And in the much-discussed essay  “Gone Hollywood,” Dunne blasts the notion that the movie business is a destroyer of writing talent. “The ecology of Hollywood eludes them,” he writes of those who bemoan the studio system’s effects on writers. Echoing this point in the Kael essay, occasional screenwriter Dunne, making reference to an Upper West Side of Manhattan grocery store, famously declares:  “The writers who fell apart in Hollywood would have fallen apart in Zabar's.”

Download this first-ever digital edition of Quintana & Friends and enjoy John Gregory Dunne at his wittiest, most observant, and powerfully eloquent best.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781939126191
Publisher:
Zola Books
Publication date:
12/12/2013
Sold by:
Zola Books
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
1 MB

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Meet the Author

John Gregory Dunne was born May 25, 1932 in Connecticut. He inherited a love of reading from his grandfather, an Irish immigrant who became a prosperous citizen of West Hartford, where Dunne was raised.
After graduating from Princeton in 1954, Dunne briefly volunteered for the army. He then moved to New York City, where he worked at an ad agency and as a staff writer for Time magazine. It was during this time in New York that he met his future wife, fellow writer Joan Didion.

Dunne and Didion married in 1964 and moved to California. They adopted a daughter, Quintana Roo. Dunne’s essay collection QUINTANA AND FRIENDS is named for her. Dunne and Didion were welcomed by Hollywood, and co-wrote four screenplays together, including an early draft of A STAR IS BORN.

Dunne’s first book, DELANO: THE STORY OF THE CALIFORNIA GRAPE STRIKE, was published in 1967. As The New York Times Book Review lauded, “Crackling dialogue, gritty characters, a fierce, unblinking stare at acts of brutality—these elements mark the novels of John Gregory Dunne.” Another significant element in Dunne’s writing, and what informed many of his books, is the city of Los Angeles, especially its dark side. His next major book, THE STUDIO, is an inside look at 20th Century Fox, a piece of reportage that is still hailed as one of the most shrewdly observed portraits of the movie business ever written. In DUTCH SHEA, JR, a provocative, tragic (though, typical of Dunne’s writing, simultaneously uproariously funny) novel, a criminal lawyer “working out of L.A.” must work through his guilt over his past following his divorce and the murder of his adopted daughter. Dunne’s TRUE CONFESSIONS is a novel inspired by the media’s obsession with the “Black Dahlia” murder. 

In the late 1980s, Dunne and Didion returned to New York, but Dunne’s fascination with Los Angeles endured. He covered the trial of O.J. Simpson for The New York Review of Books, and wrote MONSTER: LIVING OFF THE BIG SCREEN about his work on early drafts of the Disney film UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL. Dunne’s writing often questions the American fascination with fame, as depicted in his PLAYLAND, which the Washington Post called “[Dunne’s] version of ‘THE GREAT GATSBY,’” and in his THE RED WHITE AND BLUE, a complex, thrilling political narrative. Dunne also published CROONING, a collection of essays on politics, the movie business, California, and the trials of being a magazine writer.

His last book, NOTHING LOST, was published posthumously. Dunne died in 2003, after suffering a heart attack.

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