Will This Do?: An Autobiography

Auberon Waugh, Author
Auberon Waugh, Author Carroll & Graf Publishers $24 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7867-0519-1
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-0-7126-3733-6
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-7867-0639-6
Paperback - 261 pages - 978-0-7551-0550-2
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One senses Waugh doesn't really want his readers to answer the question in his title, because for many it won't do! Those without knowledge of or interest in English literary publications and feuds therein will wonder at so many tempests in such tiny teacups, and those put off by English upper-class pretensions will get an overdose. This eldest son of the curmudgeonly novelist Evelyn Waugh (Brideshead Revisited), who died in 1966, tries to have it both ways: he seems to want the spotlight as a famous man's son, but he also wants his own talent and mordant wit to be judged solely on merit. He tells a rather sad tale. It seems Evelyn Waugh didn't much care for his children, asserting in his diaries that they wouldn't be his first concern in a house fire. His son also claims that his father felt entitled ""to advertise an acute and unqualified dislike of [his six children]."" This particular Waugh has wandered around the world and written five novels, many book reviews and hundreds of acerbic, often witty columns for periodicals like the Spectator, Private Eye and the New Statesman. This possibly first installment of his autobiography was published in 1991 in the U.K. While offering juicy gossip for aficionados, it seems unlikely that U.S. readers in general will find the book sufficiently interesting. Photos. (June)
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