Related to: 'Palimpsest: A Memoir'

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United States

Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal's reputation as America's finest essayist is an enduring one. This collection, chosen by the author from 40 years of work, contains about two-thirds of what he published in various magazines and journals. He has divided the essays into three categories, or states. State of the art covers literature, including novelists and critics, bestsellers, pieces on Henry James, Oscar Wilde, Suetonius, Nabakov and Montaigne (a previosly uncollected essay from 1992). State of the union deals with politics and public life: sex, drugs, money, Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, The Holy Family (his essay on the Kennedys), Nixon, and finally Monotheism and its Discontents , a scathing critique of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. In state of being, we are given personal responses to people and events: recollections of his childhood, E. Nesbit, Tarzan, Tennessee Williams and Anais Nin.

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Two Sisters

Gore Vidal

Two Sisters is Gore Vidal's fictional memoir of a love affair with a beautiful set of twins in post-war Paris - a story skilfully interwoven with notebooks, diaries and the vivid fragment of a screenplay set in ancient Greece. In seductive settings from a brothel in a Parisian backstreet to the rooftops of seventies Rome, Vidal assembles his characters, real and imagined: Cocteau and Tennessee Williams, Gide and Mailer rub shoulders with creations as unforgettable as the ageing femme fatale Marietta Donegal and Hollywood hustler and flagellant Murray Morris. All are bound together in a mesmerising fiction that builds to an extraordinary conclusion.

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The Essential Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal
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Season Of Comfort

Gore Vidal

A novel based on the emotional conflict centered around a son's urge to sever the pshychological umbilical cord which ties him to a selfish and possessive mother. Completely unsympathetic to his young experiences and inclinations, forever critical of his interests and reactions, she nevertheless appeals to his sympathies and attempts to hold him emotionally.

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Duluth

Gore Vidal

When two women tragically perish in a Duluth snowdrift, the one called Edna is reborn in 'Duluth', the popular television series and the one called Beryl finds herself in a 'Hyatt Regency' romantic novel entitled ROGUE DUKE. In Duluth they do it all with word processors. Meanwhile Lieutenant Darlene Ecks, strip-search enthusiast, terrorizes a barrio full of illegal Mexican immigrants until they rise up in defiance, the mayor plumbs the mysteries of a bright red spaceship and a life and death contest is waged between Duluth's leading socialite and its foremost author to complete contradictory biographies of Betty Grable.Gore Vidal's wicked extravaganza sports special effects not expected in a novel; and it poses taunting puzzles like who is the guy they call The Dude? And why is it said, 'Every society gets the Duluth it deserves'?

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Messiah

Gore Vidal
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The Smithsonian Institution

Gore Vidal
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Julian

Gore Vidal
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A Search For The King

Gore Vidal

Kidnapped and held to ransom by Duke Leopold of Austria after the Third Crusade, Richard the Lion Heart, it is said, was found by his faithful troubadour Blondel de Neel. But how? And what trials did the faithful and long-suffering lyricist have to overcome to find his king?Gore Vidal paints a broad, colourful and poignant picture of a man searching for his master; for the symbolic king who is the goal of man's eternal quest; for the spiritual centre of his life.

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The Golden Age

Gore Vidal
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Point To Point Navigation

Gore Vidal
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A Thirsty Evil

Gore Vidal

From the poignant realisation as an adult of the cruel brutality of childhood in 'The Robin', man then comes face to face with himself as a boy in 'A Moment of Green Laurel': both stories combining the nostalgia and fear that haunt us all in old age. Meanwhile, in 'Erlinda and Mr Coffin', Southern etiquette is unashamedly turned upside down in a tale of amateur theatricals reminiscent of Dickens and Victorian melodrama.Yet it is in 'Three Stratagems', 'The Zenner Trophy', 'Pages from an Abandoned Journal' and 'The Ladies in the Library' (with more than a hint of Thomas Mann's Death in Venice in the latter) that we see Vidal as we know him best: cynical and provocative in these subtle tales of what was known in those days as 'sexual inversion'.

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Williwaw

Gore Vidal

A boat of the army transportation corps fights through the fierce wind of the williwaw, carrying two officers and a chaplain with its crew. Human nature and the elements move the men through their uncertain destiny. This is Gore Vidal's first novel. Written when he was just seventeen and based very strongly on his own traumatic experiences in the US Navy as WW2 reached its end, this is a compelling story of one young man's bravery under fire.

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Dark Green, Bright Red

Gore Vidal

In the tiny Central American republic of Tenango, a place of orchid--scented jungle, crumbling palaces and baroque cathedrals, the rainy season is over and the dusty days of winter have begun. It is time for revolution.In an old plantation house the conspirators meet: General Jorge Alvarez, returned from exile in New Orleans with his hothead of a son and his proud, beautiful daughter; a volatile entourage of disenchanted colonels and rebel priests; and Peter Nelson, an American soldier of fortune with his own reasons for joining the rebels. Yet when the waiting is over and the struggle for power under way, nothing in Tenango turns out to be what it seems, not even the tragedy that awaits them all.

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The Judgement Of Paris

Gore Vidal

The fast and furious hedonistic world of the jet-set commuting between the glamour centres of Europe is the setting for this famous novel by one of the twentieth century's most remarkable writers.Philip Warren is a personable young American who moves amongst the international demi-gods of wealth and status in search of himself and a future which will satisfy his part cynical, part romantic outlook.

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In A Yellow Wood

Gore Vidal
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Selected Essays

Gore Vidal

Vidal has a fierce, uncontaminated sense of what's right and wrong, and he expresses his most intimate opinions fearlessly' John Simpson, Daily MailThis new selection brings together the best of Gore Vidal's essays, comment and criticism from his fifty-year writing career. With mercurial intelligence and often courageous - and outrageous! - forthrightness, Vidal explores his keystone subjects: primarily the worlds of literature and US politics; but also showbiz, sexuality and modern manners. His gaze ranges from the fiction of Calvino and Updike to the politics of pornography to the Clinton and Bush administrations, America post-September 11 and contemporary imperial ambitions. These essays are a witty and brilliant assessment of our times from the most memorable of American literary masters.

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I Told You So

Gore Vidal, Jon Wiener

"I exist to say, 'No, that isn't the way it is,' or 'What you believe to be true is not true for the following reasons.' I am a master of the obvious. I mean, if there's a hole in the road, I will, viciously, outrageously, say there's a hole in the road and if you don't fill it in you'll break the axle of your car. One is not loved for being helpful."Gore Vidal, one of America's foremost essayists, screenwriters, and novelists, died July 31, 2012. He was, in addition, a terrific conversationalist. Dick Cavett once described him as "the best talker since Oscar Wilde." And Vidal was never more eloquent, or caustic, than when let loose on his favorite topic, the history and politics of the United States.This book is made up from four interviews conducted with his long-time interlocutor, the writer and radio host Jon Wiener, in which Vidal grapples with matters evidently close to his heart: the history of the American Empire, the rise of the National Security State, and his own life in politics, both as a commentator and candidate.The interviews cover a twenty-year span, from 1988 to 2008, when Vidal was at the height of his powers. His extraordinary facility for developing an argument, tracing connections between past and present, and drawing on an encyclopedic knowledge of America's place in the world, are all on full display. And, of course, it being Gore Vidal, an ample sprinkling of gloriously acerbic one-liners is also provided.

Sexually Empowering Books for Women

MY TOP 5

Sasha Grey, author of The Juliette Society reveals her Top 5 favorite erotic works of fiction, some of which heavily inspired ‘The Juliette Society’.

Virago

The Dirty Bits - For Girls

India Knight

One day someone came back from half-term with Delta of Venus, by Anais Nin . . .Well. Well. The book briskly did the rounds, getting tattier and tattier with each reading.Mouths dropped open in shock.Eyes popped with disbelief. Did people really. . . Did men really want to . . . ?'Edited and introduced by India Knight, THE DIRTY BITS - FOR GIRLS is an unmissable collection. From zipless action in Fear of Flying to jolly romps with Jilly Cooper; from transgressions with a priest in The Thorn Birds to mischief with Mellors; from a gentle first encounter with 'Ralph' in Forever to anything and everything but gentle in The Story of O. Even Keats, Chaucer and Shakespeare are up for no good. These are the stories that taught us about sex, volumes pilfered from our parents' bookshelves, books passed girl to girl, hidden in desks, whispered and wondered about.