Posts Tagged ‘David Thomson’

Hollywood screenwriter rescues an actress from suicide in the Pacific. Then what happens? Come to Wednesday night’s discussion of Alfred Hayes’s book.

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019
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Also a veteran of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and “The Twilight Zone”

Last call! Tomorrow night we celebrate screenwriter Alfred Hayes‘s My Face for the World to See. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, October 30, at the Bechtel Conference Center of Encina Hall, 616 Serra Street, on the Stanford campus. As you will remember, Serra Street is now closed. Directions and parking on the are on the Another Look website here.

The narrator, a Hollywood screenwriter, rescues a young actress from suicide in the Pacific. The incident leads to an affair fueled by gin, cigarettes, and ultimately madness.

Hayes (1911-85) was also a screenwriter and television writer, as well as a novelist. The best known of his seven novels is The Girl on the Via Flaminia. He received Oscar nominations for his work on Paisà, directed by Rossellini, and Zinnemann’s Teresa. He adapted Maxwell Anderson/Kurt Weill musical Lost in the Stars for film. His television credits include Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone.

Panelists include: Robert Harrison, author and professor of Italian literature; director of Another Look; Tobias Wolff, author and professor emeritus of English, founding director of Another Look; David Thomson, film critic and regular contributor to The New York Times, The New Republic, The Guardian, and Salon; and novelist Terry Gamble.

The event is free and open to the public. Please encourage your friends to join us! And visit our website for details: anotherlook.stanford.edu.

Alfred Hayes’s noir novella “My Face for the World to See” @Stanford on October 30. Be there!

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019
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Hollywood’s underside (Photo: Hayes Estate)

Your only vice is yourself. The worst of all. The really incurable one.” 

Another Look is returning from its long summer break, launching its eighth season with Alfred Hayes‘s 1958 noir novella, My Face for the World to See. The event will take place on Wednesday, October 30, 7:30 p.m., at the Bechtel Conference Center in Encina Hall on the Stanford campus.

The narrator, a Hollywood screenwriter, rescues a young actress from suicide in the Pacific. The incident leads to an affair fueled by gin, cigarettes, and ultimately madness.

Hayes (1911-85) was also a screenwriter, television writer, as well as a novelist. He published My Face for the World to See when he was 47.

In The Los Angeles Review of Books, filmmaker Alex Harvey called the book “his most achieved portrait of male self-deception … a sharp, forensic examination of power and money…”

The discussion will be led by author Tobias Wolff, founding director of Another Look. Panelists include Stanford Prof. Robert Pogue Harrison, novelist Terry Gamble, and film critic David Thomson, who wrote the introduction for the NYRB Classics edition.

Steve Wasserman is coming home! Meet the new publisher of Berkeley’s Heyday Books.

Sunday, February 28th, 2016
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wasserman2

Welcome home, Steve!

As I write, Steve Wasserman is shoveling his stuff into boxes. At least I hope he is. Steve, who has been editor at large for Yale University Press, is coming home to California at last, and it can’t happen fast enough for us. “The call of Berkeley was very strong,” he said. “I am something of a native son. I have missed California like the amputee is said to miss the phantom limb.”

The occasion is indeed one for celebration. On July 1, he will become publisher and executive director of Heyday Books, an outfit that publishes books about … California. The publishing house is situated on University Avenue in Berkeley, and you can’t get more Berkeley than that. The cover photo for his Facebook page was quickly changed to show a panorama of Berkeley, with the university’s landmark campanile. Steve grew up and went to university in this city on the Bay.

I’ve written about Steve’s time as editor of the Los Angeles Times Book for nearly a decade, a golden age when it was the best book review section in the country, bar none. He always had an eye for the era; for what might be relevant, rather than immediate. He was always willing to take a chance, and trusted that boldness, innovation, and intelligence would find an audience. I was proud to be a part of it.

Those traits served him well as editor at large at Yale University Press, where he “brought luster and allure to the Yale list, acquiring important books by such figures as Greil Marcus, Michael Roth, Martha Hodes, David Thomson, and David Rieff, publishing them with flair and gusto,” said  John Donatich, the director of Yale University Press. “He will continue to consult with YUP, particularly editing several key authors still to be published.”

During those years also, he was a principal architect for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, now the largest book festival in the country.

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A life in books.

At Heyday, he replaces Malcolm Margolin, who founded the company in 1974. Margolin seems pleased about the appointment, as is everyone else: “I can’t imagine anyone with better professional skills, more depth and variety of experience, and a more impressive record of accomplishment and public service. He knows California and its many cultures with intimacy, associates easily with the best writers and deepest thinkers everywhere, and his ample playfulness and wit have always been at the service of a humane social vision.”

According to Berkleyside:

One area he will examine is Heyday’s current distribution model. While the press publishes numerous important and beautiful books about California every year, the books are only sold in California bookstores, although they are also available online. Heyday does not have a national distributor and Wasserman does not know yet if that is because people outside the state are not interested. California as a topic is often denigrated by the East Coast, he said. Wasserman hopes to enhance Heyday’s reputation and showcase its role in interpreting California.

Steve sounds more than ready to come home and take on the new fight: “It has long been the case that California has been regarded by people who don’t live there, particularly the dyed-in-the-wool Manhattanites, who are the most provincial people in the country, as a strange backwater. Very often things California are dismissed as regional, not of national interest. Of course, all of that is rubbish. I would like to publish books that while interesting Californians, have broader resonance.”

“We couldn’t be more excited about bringing him back to California,” said Stanford alumna Emmerich Anklam (class of ’15) on the Heyday staff. “To use a favorite phrase from Steve’s predecessor Malcolm Margolin, ‘What a joy!'”

And below (pardon the blurry video quality) – this is for you, Steve.