Wear and Tear by Tracy Tynan
The Threads of My Life

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There is no mistaking the genuineness of her identification with and attachment to these objects, but whether it was a wise artistic choice is doubtful, since the device seems at times forced, distracting from the main event.
-Washington Times

Synopsis

A candid, entertaining memoir told through clothes.

Tracy Peacock Tynan grew up in London in the 1950’s and 60s, privy to her parents’ glamorous parties and famous friends—Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, and Orson Welles. Cecil Beaton and Katharine Hepburn were her godparents. Tracy was named after Katherine Hepburn’s character, Tracy Lord, in the classic film, The Philadelphia Story. These stylish showbiz people were role models for Tracy, who became a clotheshorse at a young age.

Tracy’s father, Kenneth Tynan, was a powerful theater critic and writer for the Evening Standard, The Observer, and The New Yorker. Her mother was Elaine Dundy, a successful novelist and biographer, whose works have recently been revived by The New York Review of Books. Both of Tracy’s parents, particularly her father, were known as much for what they wore as what they wrote.

In the Tynans’ social circles, style was essential, and Tracy had firm ideas about her own clothing for as long as she can remember. Shopping was an art passed down through the family; though shopping trips with her mother were so traumatic that Tracy started shopping on her own when she was fourteen.

When Tracy started writing about her life she found that clothing was the focus of many of her stories. She recalls her father’s dandy attire and her mother’s Pucci dresses, as well as her parents’ rancorous marriage and divorce, her father’s prodigious talents and celebrity lifestyle, and her mother’s lifelong struggle with addiction. She tackles issues big and small using clothes as an entrée—relationships, marriage, children, stepchildren, blended families, her parent’s decline and deaths, and her work as a costume designer are all recounted with humor, with insight, and with the special joy that can only come from finding the perfect outfit.
 

About Tracy Tynan

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Tracy Tynan is a costume designer and writer living in Los Angeles. Her credits include the movies The Big Easy, Blind Date, Great Balls of Fire, and Tuesdays with Morrie.
 
Published July 12, 2016 by Scribner. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Wear and Tear
All: 3 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Good
on Apr 30 2016

...Tynan recounts social events and job interviews where she wanted to make a notable impression. Her vivid descriptions reflect her love of clothes, designers, fabrics, and, not least, shopping. Star-studded, gossipy, and engaging.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Dwight Garner on Jul 12 2016

“Wear and Tear” is written cleanly and well, even if it deflates a bit each time Tynan and Dundy aren’t around.

Read Full Review of Wear and Tear: The Threads of... | See more reviews from NY Times

Washington Times

Above average
Reviewed by Martin Rubin on Aug 22 2016

There is no mistaking the genuineness of her identification with and attachment to these objects, but whether it was a wise artistic choice is doubtful, since the device seems at times forced, distracting from the main event.

Read Full Review of Wear and Tear: The Threads of... | See more reviews from Washington Times

Reader Rating for Wear and Tear
92%

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