FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD
This sumptuous oral biography of Eugene Walter, the best-known man you've never heard of, is an eyewitness history of the heart of the last century--enlivened with personal glimpses of luminaries from William Faulkner and Martha Graham to Judy Garland and Leontyne Price--and a pitch-perfect addition to the Southern literary tradition that has critics cheering.
In his 76 years, Eugene Walter ate of "the ripened heart of life," to quote a letter from Isak Dinesen, one of his many illustrious friends. Walter savored the porch life of his native Mobile, Alabama, in the the l920s and '30s; stumbled into the Greenwich Village art scene in late-1940s New York; was a ubiquitous presence in Paris's expatriate café society in the 1950s (where he was part of the Paris Review at its inception); and later, in 1960s Rome, participated in the golden age of Italian cinema. He was somehow everywhere, bringing with him a unique and contagious spirit, putting his inimitable stamp on the cultural life of the twentieth century.
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