Jones' atmospheric prose brings the Beat era to life with more gusto than any previous memoir, thanks to homely details like eating potato pancakes at the Second Avenue Deli and wearing Ukrainian scarves and black tights. She looks back on her marriage to LeRoi Jones with tenderness, even as she delineates the cultural forces that eventually ripped them apart. Famous friends like Allen Ginsberg make appearances, but Jones' focus is on family (her two daughters are lovingly described) and individual growth. Evocative and touching.
From Publishers Weekly
As the wife of controversial black playwright-poet LeRoi Jones (now Amiri Baraka), Hettie Cohen, a white Jew from Queens, N.Y., plunged into the Greenwich Village bohemia of jazz, poetry, leftish politics and underground publishing in the late 1950s. Their life together ended in 1965, partly, she implies, because of separatist pressures on blacks to end their interracial marriages. In this restrained autobiographical mix of introspection and gossip, the author writes of coping with racial prejudice and violence, raising two daughters, and of living in the shadow of her husband. When the couple divorced, she became a children's book author and poet. The memoir is dotted with glimpses of Allen Ginsberg, Thelonious Monk, Jack Kerouac, Frank O'Hara, Billie Holiday, James Baldwin, Franz Kline, among others.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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