Voice from Old New York: A Memoir of My Youth

Louis Auchincloss, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25 (224p) ISBN 978-0-547-34153-8
Auchincloss, who had offered glimpses of his own life in the pages of his massive body of work, posthumously opens a window into his formative years in this graceful and entertaining memoir of his life from childhood through the early years of his marriage to the death of his mother. With wry humor he admits that he was unprepared for life at the Groton School; he was not athletic and avoided sports, and he made poor choices of friends—all of which made his first two years at the school a miserable experience. He recalls the moment when he decided to become a novelist; in his French course during his sophomore year at Yale, Auchincloss was "electrified" by Madame Bovary and The Red and the Black, and, as a result, he sat down and wrote and completed his own novel in a matter of a few months. Although the novel was rejected by Scribner's, Auchincloss had found his destiny. He recalls his working relationships with John Foster Dulles and brother Allen, during his early years as a lawyer, as well as his relationship with Jackie Onassis, then an editor at Doubleday. Above all in this excellent memoir, Auchincloss leaves readers with an observation that sums up his own life and work: "Society matters not so much. Words are everything." (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/22/2010
Release date: 12/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-547-50484-1
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