"If you liked 'Loving Frank' and 'The Paris Wife,' you'll love 'Freud's Mistress,' says Katie Couric.
Well, I took Katie's advice without even knowing I was taking it.
Several years ago, before the Internet happened, I read a book by two writers who live in Los Angeles and just happen to be successful married women who have invented their own careers.
These co-writers turned out to be Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman and I happened on a best-selling novel of theirs titled "Literacy and Longing in L.A." (This was a tale about how reading above yourself and your circumstances can maybe give you a happy life.) I went so crazy for this book that I even finally met the authors, the men in their lives and also read their follow-up best seller, "A Version of the Truth."
I have, in fact, written reams of praise for them in the past. And I still can recommend "Literacy and Longing" without reservation.
But I hadn't thought of this twosome in a while and truth to tell, I simply drifted by a pile of books, recently arrived in my office and picked up something alluring titled "Freud's Mistress."
Once I started reading I didn't stop until forced by circumstance, and within 48 hours I'd managed to read the whole book. I was busy thinking what a wow of a novel it would be to give away to my psychiatric-minded friends who work at counseling for the Maria Droste Agency. I was busy recommending it in my head without paying any attention to who wrote it, where it came from and who had recommended it.
Lo and behold -- you've guessed it. It was written by the demons Mack and Kaufman. I really don't review books. I just try to tell you a little about them. But in this case, I am embarrassed by my own carelessness. What a delightful surprise!
This book is written by my own friends, who have worked, variously, as lawyer, Golden Globe-winning writer, TV producer, staff writer for the L.A. Times and between them, won the national Penney-Missouri Journalism Award. It is published by Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam.
And, I admit, at first I thought I wouldn't read it, not being a big Freud fan, but the atmospheric depiction of end-of-the-century Vienna and the fact that this is an imagined novel, based on a lot of true stuff, was irresistible.
Congratulations, you gorgeous girls! You made a believer out of me when I didn't know it was you two. And thank you Katie Couric. I did love "The Paris Wife" about Hemingway and "Loving Frank" about the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. "Freud's Mistress" is right up there with them!
I knew the Landmark Conservancy of NYC had a good idea when they decided to make the beautiful Brooke Shields -- a true New Yorker, a workaholic in theater, film and once upon a time in the modeling world where she was a teenage trailblazer -- a "Living Landmark." She'll accept the honor on Nov. 14 at the Conservancy's annual party in the Plaza Hotel Ballroom.
Why's it a good idea? Because Brooke is more than a triple threat and on July 26, 27 and 28 she will direct the Hollywood Bowl's production of the musical "Chicago." Brooke played a leading role in this show, both in a Broadway revival and also in London's West End.
More nostalgia! Leo Marinello writes us: "I remember that one of my grandmother's favorite luncheon spots was Mary Elizabeth's (thought you'd appreciate that), which I'd best describe as a tea room.
It wasn't a "manly" place to go but I distinctly remember the gingerbread dessert with lemon curd sauce and the cab ride in a Checker with a jump seat!
"The NYSD printed a vintage photo of Abercrombie-and-Fitch and my grandfather worked there in the 1920s when it was a sporting goods concern. Madison at maybe 45th Street and there was a skeet-shooting range in the basement. Wealthy women would come to hone their shooting skills."
Thank you, Leo. I do recall Mary Elizabeth's but hadn't thought of it in years and hadn't thought much about the Mary Elizabeth who became "Liz" either.
(E-mail Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com.)
Mack and Kaufman score again with 'Freud's Mistress'
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