July 20th, 2009



In this 60,000 word collection of true-to-life narratives there’s Elizabeth, a moody chain-smoking Georgia O’Keefe look-alike, who worked her way through graduate school in England by playing guitar and singing sad songs in pubs, and who could never get over having given up her daughter for adoption.

There’s Catherine, who quotes from Les Liaisons Dangereuses that “the best swimmers drown,” and is chronically depressed because she just can’t seem to hold onto any of the men she’s drawn to.

There’s Joan, a 50-year-old Philadelphia Main Line Ph.D. psychotherapist who was married once—for a week before she had it annulled—and now can’t look her current lover in the eye the next morning.

And Zether, a mathematical genius, a breathtakingly beautiful professor at Drexel, who on a first date recites The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock in its entirety, and then after a flurry of intense, romantic emails abruptly ends the relationship before it begins. Why? She won’t say exactly.

But at the beginning and end of this meticulously detailed kiss-and-tell is a portrait of Leila Hadley Luce, a dazzling charismatic author and world traveler who made an indelible impression on every one of the talented and powerful men she bedded, including Joseph Cornell, Al Capp, Richard Condon, Robert Ruark, Al Hirschfeld, Tom Hyman, Charlie Adams, Edgar Bergen, Sid Perelman, Marlon Brando, Al Capp, and a multitude of others, including me.

Below are excerpts.

Best regards,

John Palcewski

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