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The Tender Hour of Twilight: Paris in the '50s, New York in the '60s: A Memoir of Publishing's Golden Age

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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  43 ratings  ·  14 reviews
From Beckett to Burroughs, The Story of O to The Autobiography of Malcolm X, an iconic literary troublemaker tells the colorful stories behind the stories


Richard Seaver came to Paris in 1950 seeking Hemingway's moveable feast. Paris had become a different city, traumatized by World War II, yet the red wine still flowed, the cafés bustled, and the Parisian women found Ameri
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Hardcover, 480 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Gone Girl by Gillian FlynnBring Up the Bodies by Hilary MantelThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenWhere'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria SempleBattleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins
Best Books of 2012 - The Critics' Picks
64th out of 75 books — 48 voters
Les Misérables by Victor HugoA Moveable Feast by Ernest HemingwayMy Life in France by Julia ChildA Tale of Two Cities by Charles DickensThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Books About Paris
199th out of 445 books — 437 voters


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Community Reviews

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Tosh
Without a doubt Richard Seaver and his world (Barney Rosset, John Cadler, and for me, the Malcolm McLaren of publishers, Maurice Girodias) are the one's who inspired me to do my press TamTam Books. Which in turns means that I have a small collection of books on these publishers that always looked at the big picture, and usually (and hysterically) fail in some form due to the devil details of publishing. The release of the late Richard Seaver's memoir "The Tender Hour of Twilight" is a remarkable ...more
Beth
4.5 stars. I find it bizarre that this book is not being reviewed everywhere you look. If you're interested in publishing, French literature, the 1960's, or censorship issues, you will love this. It's like a fantastic time machine. To get a wider audience, I'd also recommend it for fans of Mad Men.
Max Nemtsov
Мемуары (почти законченные) человека, который был практически в центре всего самого интересного в середине ХХ века. Но вот кто его знает, этого человека? Правильно, потому что он — переводчик и редактор (в первую очередь) и издатель (во вторую). Можно много спорить и спекулировать о том, зачем они все это делали (в «Мерлине», а потом и в «Гроуве», а их коллега Жиродиа — в «Олимпии»), но мне нравится самая простая версия: раскачивать лодку, чтобы крыс тошнило. Из контрарианского драйва много хоро ...more
Trent
Well after the events recounted in this memoir has passed, I worked for Richard Seaver for about 5 years--he was my boss's boss. And he didn't talk about his years in Paris and the 1960s in New York very much (other colleagues from back then concur), which is a pity in terms of a wistful "I wish I'd heard these tales straight from the man's mouth." But not a pity in terms of this book's being a venue to, now, share them with everyone, not just a very select few.
So very entertaining, incisive gl
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Ann
This posthumous memoir paints a vivid picture of the author's bohemian years in Paris and his decade as a young publishing executive at Grove Press.

Richard Seaver managed to get to Paris in 1948, a time when the wounds of war were still fresh. But the exchange rate was favorable, the French girls were pretty, and he had books to read and to write. Making a living out of teaching, translating and occasional journalism, he and some friends founded a small literary journal intended to showcase dari
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Angela
If you've ever dreamed of working in publishing, of lavish editor lunches and discovering the next big name... I hate to break it to you, but those days are long gone. But Richard Seaver lived—and was an integral part of—those golden days of the industry, and if you care anything about publishing's history this is the memoir to read.

I'll admit, there are points that it's wordy and disjointing. But that's part of the fun. Seaver never intended for people to actually read this thing. He wrote it t
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Mike
An easy comfortable read, an editor's book well edited. Early chapters of his life and struggle in Paris are interesting insights into that period. One gets the impression that the lofty aims of an important publishing era did not so we'll cross the Atlantic to New York.

A description of the 1968 democratic convention was fascinating for its perspective but did not well reflect the fervor of the time. The closing chapters of the demise of Grove at the hands of misplaced liberals, is not particula
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Joanne Gass
A fascinating life, especially the Paris years, but lost its momentum in the last third or so.
Gail
This book started out to be very promising. Never having heard of Richard Seaver, it was fascinating to read his manuscript about Paris in the 1950s, discovering Samuel Beckett, starting up a magazine and finding out what goes on behind the scenes of publishing. Alas, I got halfway through and stopped. I no longer cared about anything that went on about his life and being an editor. The book just fizzled out for me.
Christin
I was really interested in this book in relation to the history of twentieth century publishing, but Seaver was, ironically, desperately in need of an editor. It had no pace, and I never made it to the truly compelling tidbits about great authors promised within because the narrative was so meandering and digressive that I eventually gave up (and I hardly ever abandon a book).
CJ
The first part about Paris was so interesting, but then it lost me. The highlights were the back story about Seaver discovering Samuel Beckett and the mutual respect and love he shared with his wife.
Sharon
Interesting look at the publishing world and the 50's/60's in Paris and New York.
Ailie
I particularly enjoyed the first part in Paris
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