How has Gay Talese found his subjects? How has he gotten them onto the page? What drives him to write? These are some of the questions at the heart of the narrative that combines memory, reflection, explanation and a satisfying obsession. With his trademark prose - precise, beautifully crafted, elegant - Talese traces the paths his passionate ...
How has Gay Talese found his subjects? How has he gotten them onto the page? What drives him to write? These are some of the questions at the heart of the narrative that combines memory, reflection, explanation and a satisfying obsession. With his trademark prose - precise, beautifully crafted, elegant - Talese traces the paths his passionate interests have made through his life and writing. He talks about first becoming absorbed in issues of race as a student in Alabama, about covering the civil rights struggle and about a recent interracial wedding in Selma. He reflects on the changing American sexual mores he has written about over the last 50 years, and gives an incisive examination of the lives of Lorena and John Bobbitt. He talks about his legendary Esquire profile of Frank Sinatra - judged by the magazine to be the finest in its long history - and about the ordinary men and women whose stories led to some of his most memorable work. And as he delves into the life of a young female Chinese soccer player, we see his consuming interest in the world in its latest manifestation. In these and other recollections and stories, he gives us a fascinating picture of both the serendipity and meticulousness involved in getting a story, and getting it right. Candid, humorous, deeply impassioned - this a dazzling book about the nature of writing in one man's life, and of writing itself.
Publishers Weekly, 2006-03-06 According to Talese, "Writing is often like driving a truck at night without headlights, losing your way along the road, and spending a decade in a ditch." Reading his first substantially new publication since 1992's Unto the Sons is like being in the passenger seat of that truck while it's in motion. Talese begins with a World Cup women's match between China and the United States; the game gives him a story idea, which he then abandons for roughly 300 pages for elegant digressions on, among other things, the civil rights demonstrations in Selma, the Lorena Bobbitt controversy and a string of flopped restaurants in an Upper East Side building. Somehow, he also works in a memoir of his early life, including perfectly etched memories of the New York Times newsroom (without directly reflecting on his prominence as one of the first New Journalists). This sort of thing can drag for long stretches unless you're willing to simply follow along as Talese pursues his impulses wherever they lead him. No matter how frustrating it is as memoir, though, this is a near-perfect expression of Talese's inquisitive personality, an inquisitiveness that has led to some of the outstanding journalism of the past few decades. 150,000 first printing. (Apr. 25) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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