Posts from April 2010
Posted by Carole Stuart on April 16, 2010
Hot News - April
Jennifer’s Big Birthday
I recently got back from Park City, Utah, where daughter, Jennifer Kern, celebrated her (gulp!) 40th birthday. She’s all grown up now and has her own family. All of them: Jen, husband Brad, kids Dylan (7), Justin (5) and even Jackson (2-1/2) are on skis. The big boys ski double black diamond and Jackson, not yet using poles, is fearless and will soon join his brothers.
Family and friends spent spring break/Passover/Easter holiday at a fabulous house one block away from the main street in Park City, where the Sundance Film Festival is held. Every morning they suited up, opened the side door of the four-story home and got right on the ski lift literally next to the house(taking them to the top of the mountain. (Not the baby!)
Most of the guests were skiers but some of us were shoppers, eaters and lazy people. It was great fun. Happy Birthday Jen.
Another Big Birthday! On May 3rd; one of my dearest friends and authors, Norman Corwin will celebrate his 100th birthday.
For those of you not familiar with Corwin, what follows will give you the briefest of looks at what he has done in his illustrious career and some of what is in the works for The Big Birthday Celebration. (Special thanks to Cristian Borjas, the wonderful fellow who looks after Norman for this information.)
Emmy, Peabody, and Golden Globe winner, he began as a journalist and writer-director of acclaimed radio dramas before moving on to master virtually every kind of writing; essays, screenplays, television, and theater were just a few of the mediums he conquered. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay for “LUST FOR LIFE” when he worked with director VIncente Minnelli and star Kirk Douglas in the story of the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh.
On now at the Lamb’s Players Theatre in Coronado, California, through May 23 is Corwin’s riveting play, THE RIVALRY, a close-up portrait of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas two larger-than-life personalities, and the behind-the-scenes drama between the men and Senator Douglas's beautiful, witty wife Adele.
THE RIVALRY was on at the Ford Theatre in Washington D.C. and Justice Sonia Sotomayor was so enthralled she’s trying to have it play at the White House. Norman promised to invite me!
For many, Norman is best known for On A Note of Triumph. On May 8, 1945, 60 million Americans tuned in to hear this radio masterpiece marking the end of World War II in Europe. Lauded by Carl Sandburg as "one of the all-time great American poems," it was the most listened-to radio drama in U.S. history. You can listen to it by going on the NPR website: www.npr.org. They rebroadcast it on May 26, 2005 to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the historic broadcast.
The Corwin family is something of a genealogical miracle. Norman’s brother, Emil, just turned 107. Their father, Sam, lived to 110.
When Authors Meet Authors
Recently, two of our authors met at our office.Tom McShane STOLEN MASTERPIECE TRACKER, (with Dary Matera) and Jim O’Neil A COP’S TALE: NYPD – THE VIOLENT YEARS (with Mel Fazzino) discovered both were living on Long Island; both were retired – McShane from the FBI and detective sergeant O’Neil from the NYPD. Need I point out both are Irishmen?
The inevitable happened and they were soon a team. Tom told Jim he was working on an unsolved theft involving paintings valued in today’s market at close to $600-million. This past March 18 marked the twentieth anniversary of the theft from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and there’s still not a clue as to who the perpetrators are.
What greater challenge could you offer law enforcement guys? Toss in the $5-million reward and it wasn’t long before they were uncovering facts that should have been obvious to any good investigator. When Jim spoke to Anthony Amore, currently the head of security for the museum, and told him what he found all he said was, “If you had been involved in the initial investigation this would have been solved nineteen years ago.” Of course, Mel Fazzino and pal Melissa Stanton who helped publicize A COP’S TALE became part of the team.
Stolen were three Rembrandts, one Vermeer, five Degas drawings, and a Manet. I hope they find them and get the reward. And I hope they remember Barricade when they write about it!
Coming This Fall from Barricade Books
You’ll be hearing lots more about our Fall/Winter list but here’s an early look at two of our upcoming titles.
Our a long relationship with Leon Charney began in 2001 with our publication of THE CHARNEY REPORT, interviews from his television show of the same name with a wide range of guests from the world of diplomacy and politics to literature and entertainment. In 2006, Charney gained acclaim with THE MYSTERY OF THE KADDISH written with Saul Mayzlish.
This September we will publish BATTLE OF THE TWO TALMUDS. Charney and Mayzlish again extend their reach into Jewish history exploring the reasons and methods rabbis and talmudic scholars abandoned the Holy Land to settle in what came to be known as the lands of the Diaspora.
TERRORIST COP by Mordecai Dzikansky and Bob Slater incorporates both Judaism and true-crime.
Morty Dzikansky became a cop - unusual for a Jew - even more so for an orthodox Jew. A rarity in the NYPD, he soon became the go-to Jewish cop whenever a crime involving Jewish issues came up. One major assignment was the case of the stolen torahs. The thefts seemed to center around Englewood, New Jersey. A lot of torahs were being stolen and fenced. Morty found the thieves, the torahs, and closed the case.
After the Twin Towers came down on 9/11, New York City’s police commissioner Ray Kelly assigned him to live in Israel and learn as much as he could about suicide bombers. This information would be vital to the security of New York City as evidenced by the extremely effective security methods New York uses to counter terrorism.
Much of the book details Morty’s witnessed accounts of the aftermath of suicide bombings and reporting back to the NYPD about how the Israelis confront the ongoing horror of repeated attacks. His background eventually took him beyond Israel to Turkey and Moscow where he gathered intelligence and sent it back to New York. It is truly a heart-stopping read. Look for it in November.
I close this Hot News with a piece written not by me but by dear friend, Patrick O’Connor who fills my mailbox with funnies and makes me smile.
GENE KELLY’S BROTHER AND THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND
When I was eight years old I said to my father, “Please may I take tap dancing lessons?” He didn’t say the words but he gave me that look which clearly said only sissies take tap dancing lessons. Ever the smart mouth I said “What about your friends the Kelly brothers.” Gene Kelly, his younger brother Fred, their mother and sister had a dancing school in East Liberty; a streetcar ride away from Braddock. My father, an Irish tenor who sang around Pittsburgh, must have known them through that or else they were originally from Homestead or Munhall.
Fred Kelly was a staff sergeant on General Eisenhower’s staff in England prior to D-Day in Europe. Fred was not in the entertainment section but Eisenhower knew he could tap dance and asked him if he would go to Buckingham Palace and teach the then Princess Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret to tap dance like Shirley Temple.
Sergeant Kelly went several times a week and indeed taught the little princesses to tap dance. He also taught them to do the Can-Can. When the English papers found out that an American soldier had taught the princesses the Can-Can there was a major scandal and England, all England, was horrified. The Can-Can as you may recall is a dance where the girls raise their skirts above their heads and expose their thighs which was considered very, very shocking in those backward days. The country was up in arms.
Fred Kelly was nearly court-martialed for doing such an outrageous thing. Years later there was a command performance in the presence of the now Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip for the premiere of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS starring Gene Kelly. After the film there was a receiving line with the Queen and the Prince at the head of it. The only time in history that Queen Elizabeth broke ranks and left her position; she went up to Gene Kelly and said, “You must be Fred’s brother.”
Until next time
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