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Why Not Say What Happened?: A Memoirby Ivana Lowell
Synopses & Reviews
An astonishing and at times outright comic memoir that marks the brilliant debut of a writer raised in a creative, bohemian household characterized by extreme privilege tinged with neglect.
Born into one of the most celebrated Anglo-Irish families, the Guinnesses, Ivana Lowell tells a stunning story of coming to terms with her blue-blood heritage and her own childhood traumas. It is also the story of her intense relationship with her formidably intelligent and complicated mother, the writer Caroline Blackwood. A keen observer with an incisive eye, a wicked sense of humor, and no self-pity, Lowell sets a wide range of scenes with a truly unexpected, almost madcap cast of characters, introducing us to such eccentric figures as her maternal grandmother, Maureen, the Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava. She takes us from the marchionesss annual ball for her idol and old friend, the Queen Mother, to Maureens stately Irish home, Clandeboye (where the marchioness hopes to die), to summers in Dufferins villa in Sardinia; through moves to carelessly furnished, drafty, too-large English country houses with her mother and stepfather, the poet Robert Lowell; to working in Manhattan at Miramax Books for Harvey Weinstein and a trip with his brother, Bob, to the Academy Awards; to her wedding at New Yorks Rainbow Room and finally to a life with her daughter. Ivana also has darker stories to tell including her own stints in rehab, and discovering, after her mothers death, the secret Lady Caroline had successfully kept from her.
Why Not Say What Happened? introduces a dazzling new literary voice and the fascinating story of a tragic and remarkable family.
"Named after a line from a poem by Robert Lowell, her mother's third husband and an important stabilizing presence in her early life, this self-searching, poor-little-rich-girl story is, in ways, a search for a father. Alcoholism ran through Ivana Lowell's family, the descendants of the Guinness beer fortune; her fabulous grandmother, Maureen, married royalty, and cultivated 'talented snobs,' while her mother, novelist Lady Caroline Blackwood, who had grown up in northern Ireland, crossed into bohemia by first marrying Lucian Freud, then composer Israel Citkowitz. Moving between New York's Greenwich Village and London, her mother also had affairs with English screenwriter Ivan Moffat and New York Review of Books editor Robert Silvers, so it was never clear who was the author's father.After her mother's marriage to Robert Lowell, the family lived in a rustic house in Kent; there, the author was sexually molested by a caretaker. Lowell embarked on her own destructive drinking while at various boarding schools, attended drama school, and ended up in New York working for Harvey and Bob Weinstein's Miramax. In alternate chapters she chronicles her extensive rehab over the years, her voice stripped of all vanity and self-pity, revealing a near palpable relief in baring the unlovely details. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
About the Author
Ivana Lowell grew up in London, Boston, and New York. She now lives in Sag Harbor with her daughter.
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