“Such Friends” Wishes You All a Happy Thanksgiving and a Happy Small Business Saturday

Taking a Thanksgiving break from posting what was happening in the literary world 100 years ago, today we would like to wish all our “Such Friends” a Happy Thanksgiving!

In the U. S.—and for some reason, also in the U. K. (Why?!)tomorrow is known as Black Friday.

Forget it. Stay home and watch the USA beat the England team in the first round of the World Cup (2 pm EST on Fox).

USA v England, World Cup 2022

Instead, go out Saturday to your local shops and celebrate Small Business Saturday.

If you are lucky enough to live anywhere near the wonderful neighborhood of Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh, PA, stop by the new location of Riverstone Books on Forbes Avenue and pick up your signed copy of “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I through III, covering 1920 to 1922, are all there.

“Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, Volume III—1922

What? You asked at your local bookstore and they didn’t have them?! Well, you march right back in there and tell them to email me (kaydee@gypsyteacher.com) and I will be happy to deliver. No supply chain issues here.

Everybody is reading “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s

So you want to make your holiday purchases at a small business, but you’re stumped as to what to get for those bookish friends of yours? You know who their favorite authors are, but you don’t know which books they’ve already read.

They haven’t read this! “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s makes the perfect present for friends and family with a literary inclination. The dip-in-and-out format, designed by Lisa Thomson, makes it easy to digest the year in small bursts, or read straight through from January through December.

Sample page layout from Volume III

My original offer still holds—if you live anywhere on a Pittsburgh Regional Transit bus line, I will personally deliver your signed copy.

We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season, and we are looking forward to 1923…Ooops! 2023…

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and the literary 1920s in Paris and New York City in the Osher program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions. I would be happy to supply this book to your local bookstore as well.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, mid-November, 1922, Midtown Manhattan, New York City, New York

At the Sam H. Harris Theatre on West 42nd Street, Hamlet, starring the legendary John Barrymore, 40, has just opened. The New York Herald says that his performance “will be memorable in the history of the American theatre.”

The Times predicts,

We have a new and a lasting Hamlet.”

And Brooklyn Life says that Barrymore has “won the right to be called the greatest living American tragedian.”

John Barrymore as Hamlet

*****

Farther up Fifth Avenue, the Cort Theatre on 48th Street is hosting a different type of theatrical success, Merton of the Movies, by Algonquin Hotel lunch buddies Marc Connelly, 31, and George S Kaufman, just turning 33. Like their previous Broadway hit Dulcy, Merton is based on a suggestion from another regular at the Algonquin, top World columnist Franklin Pierce Adams, just turning 41, known to all as FPA.

The Times calls it “a delight in every way,” and their other lunch regular, Heywood Broun, 33, also in the World, calls it “the most amusing show of the season.”

Cast of Merton of the Movies

*****

But, around the corner at the much smaller Punch and Judy Theatre on 49th Street, Connelly and Kaufman have financed a comedy review, The ‘49ers, written by their friends.

The gang put on a show back in April, No Sirree!, which was only performed one night for an invited audience of their friends and fans, who loved it.

So they figured they’d do it right this time—hire a producer, director and professional actors. Besides Connelly, Kaufman, FPA and Broun, the sketches were written by their talented friends, including Dorothy Parker, 29, Robert Benchley, 33, and Ring Lardner, 37.

What could go wrong?!

It wasn’t funny.

On opening night, the Mistress of Ceremonies, legendary vaudevillian Miss May Irwin, 60, was soooo bad, Connelly decided to take on the role himself, over Kaufman’s objections.

The whole disaster just closed after only 15 performances.

May Irwin

*****

One block away, at Tony Soma’s speakeasy, Parker is sharing the horror story of her recent abortion with anyone who will listen. Few want to.

She’d felt sick when her friend, magazine illustrator Neysa McMein, 34, was painting her portrait recently. Neysa gave her a glass of gin and immediately got her to a west side hospital.

Dorothy Parker by Neysa McMein

They both knew who the father was:  That cad, would-be playwright Charles MacArthur, 27.

When Dotty told Charlie that she had had an abortion, he slipped her 30 bucks, which did not cover the cost, and promptly disappeared from her life. Parker said,

It was like Judas making a refund.”

To make it worse, due to her sloppy timekeeping, Parker had passed her first trimester, and “Dr. Sunshine” (one of many so-called in Manhattan) was angry that her pregnancy was farther along than she had claimed.

After one week in the hospital, Parker is back to her usual writing, reviewing and drinking. She has poems regularly in the Saturday Evening Post, and her first short story, “Such a Pretty Little Picture” will be in next month’s Smart Set.

But this whole experience has truly depressed her. Her pal Benchley is supportive, but he warned her about MacArthur, who has become one of Benchley’s best friends.

She tells him,

Serves me right for putting all my eggs in one bastard.”

Charles MacArthur

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I through III, covering 1920 through 1922 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at the Osher program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, October 29, 1922, The Little Church Around the Corner, 1 East 29th Street, New York City; and East Shore Road, Great Neck, Long Island, New York

This wedding is fun. The Manhattan editors and writers who trade quips and insults almost every day at lunch at the Algonquin Hotel are here. The groom is Robert Sherwood, 26, editor of the humor magazine Life, towering over everyone at 6 feet 8 inches tall. The bride is actress Mary Brandon, 20, who appeared with Sherwood and the Algonquin gang in their one-off revue, No Sirree!, a few months ago.

The Little Church Around the Corner, aka The Church of the Transfiguration

The ushers include Sherwood’s co-editor at Life, Robert Benchley, 33, who just finished a gig with the Music Box Revue doing his shtick from No Sirree!, “The Treasurer’s Report,” seven days a week. And Alexander Woollcott, 35, who just went from reviewing plays for the New York Times to writing a column, “In the Wake of the Plays,” for the New York Herald after the owner, Frank Munsey, 68, offered him $15,000 a year. “For money and no other reason,” explains Woollcott.

And playwright Marc Connelly, 31, who just had a second Broadway hit, West of Pittsburgh, with his collaborator, George S Kaufman, 32.

And also Frank Case, 49, who is not known to be particularly witty, but as the manager of the Algonquin Hotel, he must have a good sense of humor.

Frank Case

Also attending are hit novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, 26, and his wife Zelda, 22, fresh off the successful publication of his second collection of short stories, Tales of the Jazz Age.

And America’s sweethearts, film stars Mary Pickford, 30, and her co-star and husband of two years, Douglas Fairbanks, 39.

All wish the Sherwoods well. But some predict this wedding will be the high point of their marriage.

Mary Brandon Sherwood

*****

Many of the wedding guests actually have more fun in the summer and into the fall partying out on Long Island.

The biggest bashes are at the rented home of New York World publisher Herbert Bayard Swope, 40, overlooking Manhasset Bay. People were not invited—they went there.

Herbert Bayard Swope’s house in Great Neck

From Great Neck then, came the Fitzgeralds, who have rented a house there and the Lardners from across the street. And a whole clan named Marx, including Arthur (“Harpo”), 33, and his brother Julius (“Groucho”), 32, who have made a name for themselves in musical theatre.

From nearby Sandy Point came magazine illustrator Neysa McMein, 34, and mining engineer Jack Baragwanath, 35. Neysa was the first to suggest that their competitive croquet games on the lawn be played without rules. Swope loved the idea; he feels the game

makes you want to cheat and kill…The game gives release to all the evil in you.”

Bust of Neysa McMein by Sally James Farnham

Heywood Broun, 33, a columnist on Swope’s own World, came to gamble, but sometimes brought his wife, free-lance writer Ruth Hale, 35.

Of theatrical people there were the Kaufmanns and Connelly and composer George Gershwin, 24. Also from New York were Woollcott, and New York Times journalist Jane Grant, 30. And the free-lance writer Dorothy Parker, 29, separated now, who has pieces in almost every issue of the Saturday Evening Post. She’s sometimes accompanied by her latest beau, would-be playwright Charles MacArthur, 27, but other times is seen sneaking across the road to the home of sportswriter Ring Lardner, 37, when his wife is away.

Ring Lardner

In addition to all these, satiric writer Donald Ogden Stewart, 27, came there at least once.

All these people came to Swope’s house in the summer.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s.Volumes I through III, covering 1920 through 1922 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at the Osher program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

The Second Annual “Such Friends” Holiday Gift Giving Guide

Yes, it’s OCTOBER.

The next thing you know, it will be NOVEMBER.

And you know what that means.

Time to start thinking about the annual task that dare not speak its name—[Whisper] holiday gift giving!

Let’s say that you have some friends and/or family on your list who you know are book readers. Real books. Not just online listicles.

But which books have they read? Which authors’ biographies have they sought out? You don’t know.

I guarantee you they haven’t yet read “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, Volumes I (1920), II (1921) and certainly not the newly available Volume III (1922).

“Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, Volume III—1922

Even your non-bookish friends will be enticed by the informal layout of “Such Friends,” designed by Lisa Thomson (LisaT2@comcast.net). You can dip in and out or settle in to read through the whole 12 months.

Sample interior of “Such Friends”

Now you can give them the gift of gossip about their favorite early 20th century writers and artists in either print or e-book formats from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk, or in the form of signed copies from Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA.

What’s that you say? Amazon has such long delivery times, you’re afraid your well-planned gifts will be sitting in a truck until January?

We can get you copies of any or all volumes of “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920ssigned copies, at our direct sale discount—in just a few days. We’ve got plenty of inventory and a handy post office.

And if you live on any Pittsburgh Regional Transit bus route, I will personally deliver your signed copies to you.

So email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com and check a few friends or relations off that gift list now!

Early in the new year I will be talking about The Centenary of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land in the Osher Lifelong Learning program at the University of Pittsburgh, and The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York at the Osher program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Another gift for your bookish friends, Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, September 21, 1922, Life magazine, New York City, New York

Life magazine’s weekly listings section includes capsule reviews of current plays, written by their theatre critic, Robert Benchley, 32:

Abie’s Irish Rose. Republic Theatre—Showing that people will laugh at anything.”

Robert Benchley by Al Hirschfeld

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I through III, covering 1920 through 1922 are available at Thoor Ballylee in Co. Galway, and as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA. They are also on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Later in the year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, September 14, 1922, Life magazine, New York City, New York

Life magazine’s weekly listings section includes capsule reviews of current plays, written by their theatre critic, Robert Benchley, 32:

Abie’s Irish Rose. Republic Theatre—People laugh at this every night, which explains why a democracy can never be a success.”

Life, September 14

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I through III, covering 1920 through 1922 are available at Thoor Ballylee in Co. Galway, and as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA. They are also on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Later in the year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

“Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, Volume III—1922 is now available!

The blog postings about 1922, 100 years ago, continue here. But now you can skip ahead to the end of this landmark year with “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, Volume III—1922 available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book formats.

Cover design by Lisa Thomson

Bookended by the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses in February, and T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land in the autumn, 1922 is often thought of as, not just the most important year in “the literary 1920s,” but the most important year in modernism.

For this reason, Volume III is 30% longer than the first two volumes—almost 130 vignettes full of great gossip about your favorite writers. There’s a beheading, a public suicide, and a celebrity sighting.

Volume III has the same informal layout as the first two, allowing you to dip in and dip out of this story-filled year, or start on January 1st and discover how it develops over 12 months. All three volumes are available on Amazon as print and e-books.

Example of layout

Designed by Lisa Thomson [LisaT2@comcast.net] and created on Amazon by Loral and Seth Pepoon of Selah Press Publishing, Volume III will soon also be available at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and at Thoor Ballylee, William Butler Yeats’ home in Co. Galway in the west of Ireland.

Free-lance writer Dr. Ann Kennedy Smith, recipient of the Women’s History Network Independent Researcher Award 2021-22, and author of the blog Cambridge Ladies’ Dining Society, 1890-1914, chose “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, as one of her “Books of the Year,” saying that the series

presents colourful, diary-like snippets, skilfully woven together, from the daily lives of writers, poets and artists of the Irish Literary Renaissance, the Bloomsbury Group, the Americans in Paris, and the Algonquin Round Table in New York.”

So get your copy now—if you live near any Pittsburgh Regional Transit bus line, I’ll come sign it personally. Just email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Two are just a coincidence—but three are a trend. Seven more to go!

Later in the year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, September, 1922, Café de Flore, corner of Boulevard Saint-Germain and Rue Saint-Benoit, Paris

Three American women are seated at the little marble-topped tables in front of the café. Each is wearing a black tailored suit, a white satin scarf, and white gloves. One wears a black cloak.

Each has a martini on the table in front of her. All three are writers.

Djuna Barnes, 30, from Croton-on-Hudson, New York, wearing her signature cloak, has been living in Paris since last year. Her lengthy profile of Irish writer James Joyce, 40, caused quite a stir when it was published in Vanity Fair a few months ago.

Solita Solano, 33, born Sarah Wilkinson in Troy, New York, also an established writer, has just moved to the city with her lover, Janet Flanner, 30, from Indianapolis, Indiana, so they both can work on their novels.

Solita Solano and Djuna Barnes 

When they first arrived earlier this month, Solano and Flanner took rooms in a small pension on rue de Quatrefages. But the constant noise was annoying. Drowning out the dedicated piano student practicing down the hall was the construction crew renovating a mosque down the street.

Janet Flanner

They have now moved to two small fifth-floor rooms, Nos. 15 and 16, in the Hotel Napoleon Bonaparte, 36 rue Bonaparte, each paying one dollar a day for the relative quiet. They are near the cafés and L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts.

In addition to the Flore, one of their other regular haunts is a neighborhood restaurant, La Quatrieme Republique, named in anticipation of a fourth French Republic following the current one. A few doors from their hotel, the restaurant’s food is interesting and affordable. However, they have nicknamed their usual waitress “Yvonne the Terrible” for her shrewish demeanor, despite their generous tips.

Solano and Flanner met after the Great War back in New York City. Flanner and her husband discovered after they had moved there that they had nothing in common, so they separated. He was happy with his boring bank; Janet hung out in Greenwich Village with bohemians, in Harlem with jazz musicians, and in midtown with writers and artists. At parties in the studio owned by illustrator Neysa McMein, 34, Flanner became friends with a young couple, magazine editor Harold Ross, 29, and his wife New York Times reporter Jane Grant, 30.

And she also met Solita.

They fell in love and when Solano, the drama critic for the New York Tribune, was offered a commission from National Geographic to tour the Mediterranean and Middle East, sending back stories, she brought Janet along.

After a year of travel, they have now decided to settle here in Paris, living off their writings and a bit of money Flanner’s father left her, and begin serious work on their novels.

Janet sends letters from Paris back to Grant in New York, chronicling the daily life of the ex-pats in the City of Light.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Later in the year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, August 17, 1922, Life magazine, New York City, New York

Life magazine’s weekly listings section includes capsule reviews of current plays, written by their theatre critic, Robert Benchley, 32:

Abie’s Irish Rose. Republic Theatre—Couldn’t be much worse.

Life, August 17, 1922

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Later in the year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, August 10, 1922, Life magazine, New York City, New York

Life magazine’s weekly listings section includes capsule reviews of current plays, written by their theatre critic, Robert Benchley, 32:

Abie’s Irish Rose. Republic Theatre—Something awful.”

Life, August 10

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Later in the year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.