“I am always drawn back to places where I have lived, the houses and their neighborhoods.” Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Of the books I read this year, this birthday gift from my son and my daughter-in-law is by far my favorite … and not just because I’m from Brooklyn and it’s a bit of nostalgia and a stellar homage. I’m a Capote fan and a David Attie fan and Brooklyn: A Personal Memoir by Truman Capote With the Lost Photographs of David Attie brings the writer and photographer together in the most delightful way.
“I live in Brooklyn by choice.”
If you’re a Capote fan, you’ll learn about his life in Brooklyn and just why he loved it. There are two photographs of a young Truman that some fans might find worth the price of admission. One is on the book cover (above) the other is included in the video below. The photographic collection in this book was originally commissioned to use as a promo for Capote after the publication of his novella, Breakfast At Tiffany‘s (1958).
Capote captures the essential Brooklyn in his writing, the singular gentility of the time and place, the grittiness of certain quarters, and the ways in which it could be excentric. Attie’s photos – taken in 1959 – document the tenor of a time now alive only in the memory of a generation that is slowly passing.
David Attie’s photographs were never published and thought to be lost. When Attie’s son Eli found them, he merged them together with Capote’s narrative and they were published at last, a visual feast, engaging for Brooklynites, Capote fans, literary history and photography buffs.
Photo credit: Jack Mitchell under CC BY-SA 4.0; signature is public domain.
The short video below gives a brief overview of the book and includes many of David Attie’s photographs. If you are reading this post from an email subscription, you’ll likely have to link through to the site to view the video.
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Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded. I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers. My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, Second Light, I Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”
The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others
“What if our religion was each other. If our practice was our life. If prayer, our words. What if the temple was the Earth. If forests were our church. If holy water–the rivers, lakes, and ocean. What if meditation was our relationships. If the teacher was life. If wisdom was self-knowledge. If love was the center of our being.” Ganga White, teacher and exponent of Yoga and founder of White Lotus, a Yoga center and retreat house in Santa Barbara, CA
“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.” Lucille Clifton
I thought I’d already commented on this 🙂 Nice Jamie. Interesting man and so talented. I’d loved to have spent some time with him, How unlikely. Going home is a nice sentiment 🙂 The video worked very well from email. Thank you.
Nostalgia does strike a sensitive soul. With a deep sense of belonging..”I can understand the feeling of being drawn back to places where one has lived, specially to the houses and the neighborhood’ For me remembering the home town is different for I was born in a dominion, in the capital of a captured state, and two years later had to leave the place for ever..the other choice was the loss of freedom and human rights…when one thinks back of native land there is a void and a dichotomy of identities…nothing ever really is one’s own’ , a time comes to make you move away to a new place…where new memories start covering the old..but this is a striking memoir of a true’belonging’ and beautifully presented…
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