The Memory of All That: George Gershwin, Kay Swift, and My Family's Legacy of Infidelities

Katharine Weber. Crown, $24 (288p) ISBN 978-0-307-39588-7
Novelist Weber (Triangle) here paints a wry and engaging portrait of a powerful, talented, but troubled family. She relays memories of her father, Sidney Kaufman, a self-mythologizing filmmaker, and Andrea Swift, her self-absorbed mother, who retreated into photography and Angela Thirkell novels, and weaves them into her familial history: on her father's side, refugees from Russia and Eastern Europe; on her mother's, the German-Jewish Warburg banking dynasty. While the affair between her maternal grandmother, composer Kay Swift, and George Gershwin takes center stage (Weber's title derives from an Ira Gershwin lyric), Weber packs in other celebrated names related by blood or association. The most touching passages describe the impact of unavailable adults on Weber (she was left alone for five days on a film set) and Weber's relationship with Swift, who took her to Broadway shows, Central Park, and Schrafft's soda fountain. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/23/2011
Release date: 07/01/2011
Paperback - 270 pages - 978-0-307-39589-4
Ebook - 184 pages - 978-0-307-88859-4
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