Near-Death Experiences . . . and Others (Paperback)

Near-Death Experiences . . . and Others By Robert Gottlieb Cover Image
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A new collection of immersive essays from the most acclaimed editor of the second half of the twentieth century

This new collection from the legendary editor Robert Gottlieb features twenty or so pieces he’s written mostly for The New York Review of Books, ranging from reconsiderations of American writers such as Dorothy Parker, Thornton Wilder, Thomas Wolfe (“genius”), and James Jones, to Leonard Bernstein, Lorenz Hart, Lady Diana Cooper (“the most beautiful girl in the world”), the actor-assassin John Wilkes Booth, the scandalous movie star Mary Astor, and not-yet president Donald Trump.

The writings compiled here are as various as they are provocative: an extended probe into the world of post-death experiences; a sharp look at the biopics of transcendent figures such as Shakespeare, Molière, and Austen; a soap opera-ish movie account of an alleged affair between Chanel and Stravinsky; and a copious sampling of the dance reviews he’s been writing for The New York Observer for close to twenty years. A worthy successor to his expansive 2011 collection, Lives and Letters, and his admired 2016 memoir, Avid Reader, Near-Death Experiences displays the same insight and intellectual curiosity that have made Gottlieb, in the words of The New York Times’s Dwight Garner, “the most acclaimed editor of the second half of the twentieth century.”

About the Author

Robert Gottlieb (1931 - 2023) was a legendary book editor and writer who shaped the modern literary canon. He was editor-in-chief of Simon and Schuster, the head of Alfred A. Knopf, and editor of The New Yorker. He contributed frequently to The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, and The New York Review of Books, and the New York Observer as dance critic. His books include Great Expectations: The Sons and Daughters of Charles Dickens, George Balanchine: The Ballet Maker, Sarah: The Life of Sarah Bernhardt, Avid Reader: A Life, and a collection of essays Near-Death Experiences . . . and Others. In 2015, he was presented with the Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. A documentary film exploring his fifty-year relationship with the writer Robert Caro, Turn Every Page, was released in 2022.

Praise For…

“Mr. Gottlieb emerges as a kind of Zelig of American publishing. The most acclaimed editor of the second half of the 20th century, he seemed to have a hand in everything that mattered . . . An indispensable work of American publishing history, thick with instruction and soul and gossip of the higher sort.” —Dwight Garner, The New York Times on Avid Reader

“Delightful . . . The best editors’ memoirs revive the magic without devolving into nostalgia . . . Avid Reader succeeds on both counts.” —Sarah Weinman, The New Republic on Avid Reader

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250215062
ISBN-10: 1250215064
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: June 11th, 2019
Pages: 368
Language: English