An “entertaining and occasionally even moving” personal recollection by the lawyer, historian, and renowned chronicler of old-money WASP society (The Boston Globe).
At the time of his death, Louis Auchincloss—enemy of bores, self-pity, and stale gossip—had just finished taking on a subject he had long avoided: himself. His memoir confirms that, despite the spark of his fiction, Auchincloss himself was the most entertaining character he ever created.
No traitor to his class, but occasionally its critic, Auchincloss returns to his insular society, which he maintains was less interesting than its members admitted—and unfurls his life with dignity, summoning family (particularly his father, who suffered from depression and forgave him for hating sports) and intimates. Brooke Astor and her circle are here, along with glimpses of Jacqueline Onassis. Most memorable, though, is Auchincloss’s way with those outside the salon: the cranky maid; the maiden aunt, perpetually out of place; the less-than-well-born boy who threw himself from a window over a woman and a man. Above all, here is what it was like to be
Auchincloss, an American master, a New York Times
–bestselling novelist, and a rare, generous, lively spirit to the end.
“[Auchincloss] concentrates on bringing back to life—literary alchemy, after all—the people who loved him: his mother, father, aunts, uncles, school friends and colleagues. He understands how lucky he was to have them, and ‘A Voice From Old New York’ is his thank-you note.” —The New York Times