The grand surprise: the journals of Leo Lerman

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Alfred A. Knopf, Apr 10, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 654 pages

A remarkable life and a remarkable voice emerge from the journals, letters, and memoirs of Leo Lerman: writer, critic, editor at Condé Nast, and man about town at the center of New York’s artistic and social circles from the 1940s until his death in 1994.

Lerman’s contributions to the world of the arts were large and varied: he wrote on theater, dance, music, art, books, and movies for publications as diverse as Mademoiselle and The New York Times. He was features editor at Vogue and editor in chief of Vanity Fair. He launched careers and trends, exposing the American public to new talents, fashions, and ideas.

He was a legendary party host as well, counting Marlene Dietrich, Maria Callas, and Truman Capote among his intimates, and celebrities like Cary Grant, Jackie Onassis, Isak Dinesen, and Margot Fonteyn as part of his larger circle. But his personal accounts and correspondence reveal him also as having an unusually rich and complex private life, mourning the cultivated émigré world of 1930s and 1940s New York City, reflecting on being Jewish and an openly homosexual man, and intimately evoking his two most important lifelong relationships.

From a man whose literary icon was Marcel Proust comes an unparalleled social and emotional history. With eloquence, insight, and wit, he filled his journals and letters with acute assessments, gossip, and priceless anecdotes while inimitably recording both our larger cultural history and his own moving private story.

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User Review  - yooperprof - LibraryThing

"The Grand Surprise" consists of selected journal entries and letters by Leo Lerman, writer, editor and manager in the Conde Nast stable of magazines ("Vogue", "Vanity Fair") for nearly 50 years. He ... Read full review

The grand surprise: the journals of Leo Lerman

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Pascal began his career at Cond� Nast Publications in 1981 as assistant editor to Leo Lerman (1914-94), a longtime features editor atVogue . Toward the end of Lerman's career, Pascal ... Read full review

Contents

CALL IT FRIENDSHIP CALL IT LOVE
1
KNEW I HAD COME HOME
65
EVERYONES GIVING PARTIES
141
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Leo Lerman also wrote for the New York Herald Tribune, Harper’s Bazaar, Dance Magazine, and Playbill, among other publications. He served as editorial adviser at Condé Nast Publications until his death in 1994.

Stephen Pascal has worked for twenty-five years as an editor and contributor to Condé Nast Publications, beginning with more than a dozen years as Leo Lerman’s assistant through several assignments, including Vogue and Vanity Fair. He lives in New York City.

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