How I Became Hettie Jones
- Author:Hettie Jones
- Publisher:Grove Press
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- Sales Rank:438,145
- Languages:English (Unknown), English (Original Language), English (Published)
- Number Of Items:1
- Edition:1st Grove Press ed
- Shipping Weight (lbs):0.7
- Dimensions (in):8.3 x 5.5 x 0.7
- Publication Date:December 6, 1996
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Greenwich Village in the 1950s was a haven to which young poets, painters, and jazz musicians flocked. Among them was Hettie Cohen, who'd been born into a middle-class Jewish family in Queens and who'd chosen to cross racial barriers to marry the controversial black poet LeRoi Jones. Theirs was a bohemian life in the awakening East Village of underground publishing and jazz lofts, through which drifted such icons of the generation as Allen Ginsberg, Thelonious Monk, Jack Kerouac, Frank O'Hara, Billie Holiday, James Baldwin, and Franz Kline.
Jones' atmospheric prose brings the Beat era to life with more gusto than any previous memoir, thanks to homely details like eating potato pancakes at the Second Avenue Deli and wearing Ukrainian scarves and black tights. She looks back on her marriage to LeRoi Jones with tenderness, even as she delineates the cultural forces that eventually ripped them apart. Famous friends like Allen Ginsberg make appearances, but Jones' focus is on family (her two daughters are lovingly described) and individual growth. Evocative and touching.
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