First Loves by Ted Solotaroff
A Memoir

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Solotaroff was one of the notable intellectuals of his generation, the founder of the New American Review, editor and friend of Philip Roth, and editor-in-chief at HarperCollins. Solotaroff reveals himself here as a thinking man with a big heart and gaping wounds of love that are not disconnected from the contributions he has made to American culture throughout his career.
Solotaroff turns back to the earliest pages of his romance with Lynn, remembering his first sighting of her emerging from the water as if from a dream. Yet the image, as he penetrates the intervening layers of sorrow and disappointment, is almost impossibly distant, fragile. First Loves reenacts the blurring of a perfect conception in the mind of a man who would devote his life to precision of thought and word. This opposition, of romantic and intellectual passion, drives the narrative and eventually brings it to crisis.
First Loves could be described as a very private feat of honesty from a public intellectual. Solotaroff’s willingness to admit the failures, personal and professional, alongside the triumphs of his career gives a three-dimensional intensity to the emotions on the page. Working with all of the gritty and romantic elements of his storied life, Solotaroff manages to avoid a tone too heroic or honey-dipped; he manages simply to tell the tale.

About Ted Solotaroff

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TED SOLOTAROFF was an editor of Commentary and the editor of Bookweek before he founded the influential literary journal New American Review, later American Review. The first volume of his memoirs, Truth Comes in Blows (1998), won the Martha Albrand award for 1998 from American PEN for the art of the memoir, was a New York Times Notable Book, and was nominated for the National Jewish Book Award. Solotaroff is the author of two acclaimed books of criticism and cultural commentary, The Red-hot Vacuum and A Few Good Voices in My Head. He lives in East Quogue, Long Island, and in Paris.
Published January 4, 2011 by Seven Stories Press. 304 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Moving to New York for the mangy bohemian life he'd fantasized about, Solotaroff became a scrappy laborer as the couple, "so uncannily tuned in to each other" out of the bedroom, were forced to grapple with their sexual incompatibility.

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Project MUSE

At first glance, Ted Solotaroff's First Loves: A Memoir appears to be primarily about his unhappy first marriage to Lynn, a woman whose potential is thwarted by her mental illness and the social climate of the late 1940s and 1950s, both of which encouraged dilettantism, rather than the perseveran...

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