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Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Eio Books; First Edition first Printing edition (January 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0975925520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0975925522
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #763,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Twinka Thiebaud is an artist's model who, along with posing for her father, American painter Wayne Thiebaud, collaborated with many notable photographers of the 20th century. In the work of Judy Dater, one particular photo, "Imogen and Twinka," created in Yosemite National Park, became one of the most recognizable and iconic images captured by an American photographer. In it, ninety-two year old Imogen Cunningham, a groundbreaking photographer in her own right, confronts and locks gaze with Twinka, who appears as a wood nymph frozen before her camera's lens. The image can been seen in private and major museum collections around the world. For three years Twinka lived with the aging novelist Henry Miller in his Pacific Palisades home acting as his cook and caretaker while working as an artist's model, posing for art students and other noted photographers; Mary Ellen Mark, Arnold Newman, Lucien Clergue, Eikoh Hosoe, and Ralph Gibson among others. At home with Miller, Twinka was captivated and delighted along with other dinnertime guests and celebrities by Miller's nightly tales of his past exploits. Listening, she began to keep a notebook of her version of what he said each evening. Eventually showing him her notes, he expressed immense enthusiasm, encouraging her to write a book. The result is a compilation of both Miller's intimate conversations and Twinka's memoirs about the years she spent living under his roof and his lasting effect on her. Twinka lives in Portland, Oregon.

More About the Author

If you are a fan of Henry Miller and his writings, including "Tropic of Cancer," you will love this intimate portrait of the last years of his life, as well as personal anecdotes from throughout his life, as told by Twinka.

Henry Miller was a larger-than-life all-American writer. His work was ground-breaking and breath-taking. But he could also talk. Until the day he died, he had what he called the "gift of the gab." At his own table, laden with the food he loved and surrounded by famous writers, actors, painters, musicians and fans, Henry held forth on every topic imaginable. What he said was rollicking, open, honest, revealing of himself and the fabulous assortment of huge personalities he'd met in his long life, as well as ultimately showing a side of Henry few outside his circle ever saw. In this warm and charming memoir of her years under Miller's Pacific Palisades roof, artist and model Twinka Thiebaud captures his table talk with an unerring ear... as well as penning her own intimate impressions of one of America's greatest writers.

Twinka Thiebaud is an artist's model who, along with posing for her father, American painter Wayne Thiebaud, collaborated with many notable photographers of the 20th century. In the work of Judy Dater, one particular photo, "Imogen and Twinka," created in Yosemite National Park, became one of the most recognizable and iconic images captured by an American photographer. In it, 92-year-old Imogen Cunningham, a groundbreaking photographer in her own right, confronts and locks gaze with Twinka, who appears as a wood nymph frozen before her camera's lens. The image can been seen in private and major museum collections around the world. For three years Twinka lived with the aging novelist Henry Miller in his Pacific Palisades home acting as his cook and caretaker while working as an artist's model, posing for art students and other noted photographers; Mary Ellen Mark, Arnold Newman, Lucien Clergue, Eikoh Hosoe, and Ralph Gibson among others. At home with Miller, Twinka was captivated and delighted along with other dinnertime guests and celebrities by Miller's nightly tales of his past exploits. Listening, she began to keep a notebook of her version of what he said each evening. Eventually showing him her notes, he expressed immense enthusiasm, encouraging her to write a book. The result is a compilation of both Miller's intimate conversations and Twinka's memoirs about the years she spent living under his roof and his lasting effect on her. The fascinating topics that Miller expounds upon include Picasso, Charlie Chaplin, Norman Mailer, feminists and former wives June Miller and Anaïs Nin.

Twinka, who now lives in Portland, Oregon, is currently working on a memoir entitled "Twinka From Six to Sixty: Collected Images From the Life of an Artist's Model." Included will be recollections of working for her father at age six in his converted chicken coop studio as well as a detailed account of what led up to the iconic photograph, "Imogen and Twinka," taken by Judy Dater in front of a group of rowdy students at a photography workshop in Yosemite.

Customer Reviews

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Ms. Thiebaud writes in a direct style that is honest and detailed.
Steven
Thiebaud's generosity of memoir shares the lessons of each recounting with the reader.
Gina Gurgiolo
Henry Miller was one of the most important writers of the last century.
Ed Gish

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Hughes on February 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
Twinka Thiebaud offers us a delicious and mouth watering memoir of her life and times with Henry Miller. It is a love letter and also a document that recalls a time in history, when such things were possible. Rich intimate conversations around the table. The gathering of artists in the collective celebration of a remarkable man. Twinka is one of the iconic beauties of our time and even apart from her life with Henry, her stories are compelling and moving. I can see this as a larger work, this was just the appetizer!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Graham Bennison on February 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
I received this book today (8th Feb.) and at 5 pm UK time started to read what I thought would just be the opening chapters. At 10.15 pm I finished the whole book as after each tale and annecdote I was driven to continue to digest and absorb what is a most entertaining book.
From the opening pages when Twinka describes her first ever meeting with Henry I was visualising the steep dirt track that Twinka and her mother drove along to Henry's House......to Henry himself sitting at the far side of the table reminiscing tales of writers, artists, film stars, etc.
A great read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Browning on May 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've now read this marvelous book for the second time, and find myself returning to my favorite passages almost daily. Twinka Thiebaud is a natural writer with a rapier wit to match Henry Miller's. This affectionate and warmly moving account of life with 'Hen' in Pacific Palisades in the 1970's is a funny and fascinating tapestry of the great man's thoughts, opinions, advice, revelations, food and wine preferences, visitors -- some of whom are greeted with a sense of wonder and disdain, and I won't spoil it for you here! Read this book! It's truly the day-to-day life of Miller and Twinka that mesmerizes most. Henry Miller's genuine affection for Twinka as his cook, help-mate and friend brought me to tears more than once. Twinka's amazing memory for the 'voice' of Miller, whom I myself knew, is right on target. I cannot recommend this lovely little volume enough. Buy a dozen and give them as gifts, and always keep one for yourself. Your friends will thank you, and you will never be without a sense of loving companionship with this book on your bedside table. Brava Twinka! Cheers Henry!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MT on February 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How often do you read a book and stop on practically every page to reread it again because something has been written that you were really touched by, or startled by or enlightened by? Ms. Thiebaud's observations and reflections draw you in from the first page. Not only do you come out feeling like you've read an intimate, thoughtful description and memoir of Mr. Miller and what he was really about ... The bonus is that you are intrigued by the person writing their impressions.

You will smile and perhaps even laugh out loud, you will nod your head in agreement and understanding, you will grimace and you may shed a tear. You'll want to recommend your friends to read it. It's that good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By dharmabum on May 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
What a gift this book is. With a graceful, fluid style Ms. Thiebaud has extended a unique invitation to dine with a great artist in his sunset years. "What Doncha Know ? " is a wonderful buffet, laden with the varied but always memorable musings of one of America's most imaginative and reflective writers. An artist in her own right, Twinka Thiebaud sets the "table talk" with meticulous detail and recollections. This valentine to an old friend hums with a rare intimacy and offers a delightful glimpse into the heart and soul of an iconic and still relevant mentor. Pull up a chair and ladle the golden broth of memory.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Seubert on May 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
A wonderful view into the intimate mind of Henry Miller, given voice by Ms. Thiebaud. She not only shares her own account of her life and how it relates to his, but is generous enough to have taken the time to put it into book form. I highly recommend this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mike Zdroy on April 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book was a true pleasure to read from start to finish and so hard to put down that I read it all in one day. It was really three books in one. The first part details the author's memories of Henry Miller from her first meeting at Big Sur. I was a little confused when the author discussed the details of Henry's passing so early on in the book. But the book transitioned nicely into antidotes from Henry's table talk. For those who like short but well written stories, like I do, this worked very well and kept me turning the pages. My favorite part of the book and most heart felt in my opinion was the final story where the author puts a nice finishing touch on her memories of Henry and her friend Bill Pickerill. It was fitting that the book ended in France where Henry established the beginnings of his fame.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ed Gish on March 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Henry Miller was one of the most important writers of the last century. He lived a more stimulating and interesting life than any of his contemporaries. He lived it until the day he died. It all came home to roost in his final years and Twinka Thiebaud was there. She was his confidant, his caretaker, his chef, his everything and she wrote it all down. The famous, near famous and infamous came and went according to the Great Man's humor. Twinka was the keeper of the gate. He turned the Beatles away. He loved Jack Nicholson. From the first to the last page this book is rich and amazing. Famous figures you've always been curious about people its pages. From Charley Chaplin to Warren Beatty you see and hear who and what they really were when they sit down at dinner with Henry and Twinka to swap highly personal stories with the great man. Twinka's superb writing style puts you right in the room and at the table with them. I wouldn't have missed this book for ten times the price. Reading and re-reading it has been an experience I will always keep with me.
Ed Gish
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