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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review: What Doncha Know? about Henry Miller by Twinka Thiebaud

Title: What Doncha Know? about Henry Miller
Author: Twinka Thiebaud
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Eio Books
Publish Date: January 24, 2011
Source: I received a copy from the author; however, this did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a non-fiction fan.
  • You're a memoir fan.
What's the Story?: 

From "Henry Miller was a larger-than-life all-American writer. His work was ground-breaking and breath-taking. But he could also talk. Until the day he died, he had what he called the “gift of the gab.” At his own table, laden with the food he loved and surrounded by famous writers, actors, painters, musicians and fans, Henry held forth on every topic imaginable. What he said was rollicking, open, honest, revealing of himself and the fabulous assortment of huge personalities he’d met in his long life, as well as ultimately showing a side of Henry few outside his circle ever saw. In this warm and charming memoir of her years under Miller’s Pacific Palisades roof, artist and model Twinka Thiebaud captures his table talk with an unerring ear…as well as penning her own intimate impressions of one of America’s greatest writers."

My Two Cents: 

While I have never read anything by Henry Miller, he is one of the most infamous American authors. Known for such works as the much discussed and debated "Tropic of Cancer," he is still remembered as one of the most larger than life American authors. The author of the book goes to live with Miller as a young woman and does a lot of work around the house for him. In the midst of doing all of the work, Ms. Thiebaud gains a lot of insight into what makes Miller tick.

The book is divided up into two sections. The first section is more personal to the author. It covers how she came to find herself in Miller's house. It also covers how she got to know him and many of her interactions with the author. It also covers many of her own observations of the author.

The second section is sort of a series of essays told from the point of view of Henry Miller. One thing that Ms. Thiebaud makes clear in the beginning of the book is that one of Miller's favorite pastimes was to talk anyone who would listen's ear off about a vast variety of subjects. It was interesting to see his perspective on so many different people and things.

Bottom line: Even if you are not a Henry Miller fan, this is still a great book for all those who love to read to enjoy.



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