A Voice from Old New York by Louis Auchincloss
A Memoir of My Youth

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Synopsis

At the time of his death, Louis Auchincloss—enemy of bores, self-pity, and gossip less than fresh—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 has created. No traitor to his class but occasionally its critic, he returns us to his Society which was, he maintains, less interesting than its members admitted. You may differ as he unfurls his life with dignity, summoning his 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 his 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. Here is Auchincloss, an American master, being Auchincloss, a rare eye, a generous and lively spirit to the end.


 

 

About Louis Auchincloss

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Louis Auchincloss was born on September 27, 1917 in New York. He attended Groton College and Yale University and received a law degree from the University of Virginia. He served in the U.S. Navy for four years during World War ll. A practicing attorney, Auchincloss wrote his first novel, "The Indifferent Children," in 1947 under the pseudonym Andrew Lee, establishing a dual career as a successful lawyer and writer. Born into a socially prominent family, Auchincloss generally writes about society's upper class. Strong family connections, well-bred manners, and corporate boardrooms are subject matter in such novels as "Portrait in Brownstone" and "I Come As a Thief." He has also written several biographical and critical works on such notable writers as Edith Wharton and Henry James. Auchincloss was President of the Museum of the City of New York.
 
Published December 2, 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 229 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Voice from Old New York

Kirkus Reviews

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The prolific author's last book is a farewell to a way of life that was gone before he was.

Nov 18 2010 | Read Full Review of A Voice from Old New York: A ...

The New York Times

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In his posthumous memoir, Louis Auchincloss describes his upbringing as a member of New York society.

Dec 14 2010 | Read Full Review of A Voice from Old New York: A ...

The New York Times

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Louis Auchincloss’s memoir, written shortly before his death, is a thank-you note to the city he navigated and loved.

Dec 24 2010 | Read Full Review of A Voice from Old New York: A ...

The Wall Street Journal

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He published his first novel under a pseudonym, in deference to his mother, who feared his public humiliation.

Dec 06 2010 | Read Full Review of A Voice from Old New York: A ...

New York Journal of Books

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Louis Auchincloss published his first novel in 1947, when he was 30, and his last in 2006, when he was 88.

Dec 02 2010 | Read Full Review of A Voice from Old New York: A ...

Star Tribune

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Auchincloss paints a vivid picture of a long-gone privileged existence, but his book would have improved with a bit of perspective.

Dec 11 2010 | Read Full Review of A Voice from Old New York: A ...

The Washington Times

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If Louis Auchincloss' forebears rolled over in their manicured graves when his novels came out, they can stop worrying now that his posthumous memoir has appeared. The most shocking outrage herein happened to the author himself, at boarding school.

Feb 11 2011 | Read Full Review of A Voice from Old New York: A ...

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

His urge to write blossomed at Yale but an early disappointment steered him into law, where he made a career, though writing soon became more important.

Jan 12 2011 | Read Full Review of A Voice from Old New York: A ...

Bookmarks Magazine

New York Observer 1.5 of 5 Stars"The very structure of A Voice From Old New York, which assumes its readers ought to be honored to follow Auchincloss wherever he might go, says as much about the world he inhabited as his words.

Dec 06 2010 | Read Full Review of A Voice from Old New York: A ...

The New Yorker

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Jan 17 2011 | Read Full Review of A Voice from Old New York: A ...

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