New York Review Books £11.99 (298pp) (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
The Company They Kept, Edited by Robert Silvers & Barbara Epstein
Friday 04 December 2009
"A memoir of a talented friend risks sentimentality," warns Robert Silvers, (editor of The New York Review of Books who edited w ith its co-founder, Barbara Epstein, until her death in 2006) in his preface.
These 27 essays (culled from 900 issues) by Oppenheimer on Einstein ("He said if he had to live if over again, he would be a plumber"), Anna Akhmatova on Modigliani, Saul Bellow on John Cheever, present memories wrapped in tender prose, yet are unflinching in their portrayal of these talented friends, failings and all.
Susan Sontag worships Paul Goodman's writing but admits to a personal dislike; Derek Walcott remembers Robert Lowell's stinging remark: "You use people". These vignettes steer away from hero worship to give us something more moving.
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 3 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
- 4 John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
- 5 Kanye West stops concert after two fans don't stand up - doesn't realise one is in wheelchair and the other disabled
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'
Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
Cilla, ITV, review: Sheridan Smith embodies the young singer perfectly
Tyler, The Creator says having new U2 album automatically downloaded on his iPhone was 'like waking up with herpes'
Kanye West stops concert after two fans don't stand up - doesn't realise one is in wheelchair and the other disabled
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly