A PLACE IN THE SUN by LEWIS WARSH

 45. A PLACE IN THE SUN. New York, NY: Spuyten Duyvil, 2009. 6x7" 62 pages. (F)

Offset, perfect-bound paperback. Black-and-white cover art by Pamela Lawton with 9 additional images dispersed throughout the text on a gloss stock differet from text stock (printed recto only). Of 75 copies, this is number 27, signed in pencil by the author and artist.

“I began investigating the lives of Monty Clift and Elizabeth Taylor in the mid-nineties. I’d seen the movie A Place in the Sun when I was very young and I wanted to know why it left such a strong impression. Taylor was in love with Clift and would call him up the night before she was getting married, begging him to ‘save’ her from making a mistake. This happened more than once. Clift had to keep his private life to himself—he couldn’t be out as a gay man in Hollywood c. 1950. It was only when James Dean came around, a few years later, that things became slightly more open. I wrote this series of prose works intersecting the lives of Clift and Taylor with the life of Theodore Dreiser. A Place in the Sun (the movie) was based on Dreiser’s An American Tragedy which was based on a real life event that happened in upstate New York. Pamela Lawton did nine drawings for this edition, as well as the front and back covers, and the book was produced by Tod Thilleman.”

45. A PLACE IN THE SUN. New York, NY: Spuyten Duyvil, 2010. 5½x8" 234 pages. (F)

Offset, perfect-bound paperback with flaps. Cover art by Pamela Lawton. Author photo by Max Warsh. Blurbs by Rennee Gladman, Michael Lally, Michael Rumaker, and Donald Breckenridge. 

“I wrote this novel in the late-nineties. It feels like the definitive work about something. The inside of my brain, if nothing else. The book links to A Free Man—there’s a cop, Harry Cray, at the center of the story, just as there was a cop (Frank) in the center of the earlier book. But then there are other sections: the long chapter about Monty and Liz and the making of the movie A Place in the Sun, and then a short tangent about Bertolt Brecht and how his lovers wrote most of his great plays. There are side trips here, lots of disparate elements and lots of intertwining threads. Monty isn’t the only person in the book who’s confused about his sexual identity. I was interested in the Russian culture of Brighton Beach as well. I loved going there and walking around and sitting in one of the Russian caf├ęs on the boardwalk facing the ocean. I had numerous Russian students in my classes at Long Island University. My great grandparents, on my father’s side, came from Lithuania. My name is/was Warshafsky. My father changed it before I was born. So this book contains a lot of little pieces of things that matter to me. I liked putting this book together and all the repetitions between the first and last parts. I liked rewriting the opening section at the end. Tod Thilleman was the publisher and Pamela Lawton did the cover. The book is dedicated to Monty and Liz.”

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