The Greta Garbo Home for Wayward Boys and Girls: A Memoir (Hardcover)

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The Greta Garbo Home for Wayward Boys and Girls: A Memoir By Steven Gaines Cover Image

The Greta Garbo Home for Wayward Boys and Girls: A Memoir (Hardcover)


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Picking up where he left off at the end of his widely praised debut memoir, Gaines recounts a dual narrative of his attempts to forge a writing career and a successful love life. With the encouragement of his psychiatrist (with whom he undergoes Freudian analysis) to sublimate his desires for men into enduring relationships with women, the author proceeds with limited success until he meets and touchingly falls in love with an older woman dying of cancer. Meanwhile, his unlikely and serendipitous career as a writer begins when he meets a former child evangelist at Max’s Kansas City, the famous Manhattan watering hole, and somehow with naïve chutzpah, manages a to land a book deal brokered by the elegant sister of the composer Leonard Bernstein. The published book leads to an opportunity to write the highly influential Top of the Pop column for the New York Sunday News, a job that takes the author to Hollywood every other week. As his writing career flourishes, Gaines gives in to his deeper impulses and begins to court and fall in love with men who don’t quite return his affection, making him eventually recognize the sad irony that a woman dying of cancer, to whom he was unable to commit could quite possibly have been the great love of his life. One of these not-quite-available men is a bartender from Studio 54 who Gaines convinces to coauthor a roman-à-clef about the famous night club. Having spent time with such notables as Andy Warhol, he has plenty of material to draw from. However, the published book, with its thinly disguised characters, provokes the wrath of the rich and famous and powerful, who collectively want to destroy the author’s reputation and career. But then, just when the author feels he has hit rock bottom, another moment of serendipity graces him: A phone call from a man who once managed the Beatles with the offer to co-write a biography of the four, and an opportunity that leads Gaines to write a book that ends up on the New York Times Bestseller list, and leads to popular esteem and for the author, a feeling of momentary redemption.

Steven Gaines is the twice New York Times best-selling author of Philistines at the Hedgerow: Passion and Property in the Hamptons and The Love You Make. He has also written Marjoe, the biography of evangelist Marjoe Gortner;Me, Alice, the autobiography of rock star Alice Cooper;The Love You Make: An Insider’s Story of the Beatles (with Peter Brown);Heroes and Villain: True Story of the Beach Boys;Simply Halston: The Untold Story;Obsession: The Lives and Times of Calvin Klein;The Sky’s the Limit: Passion and Property in Manhattan;Fool’s Paradise: Players, Poseurs, and the Culture of Excess in South Beach;a memoir One of These Things First;and the novels The Club and Another Runner in the Night.

Praise for One of These Things First: One of These Things First is…an absolute treasure.” — New York Times Book Review

 "An extraordinary book. Incredibly moving and beautifully written." — Jay McInerney

 “A candid, entertaining memoir…. A spirited narrative of a hard-won coming-of-age.” — Kirkus Review

“Humane and generous…. Shocking, funny, and sometimes shockingly funny. A real treasure.” — Boston Globe

“A real gem.” — Newsday