Pulling No Punches

Cover modified by Rosita

My little town of Syracuse, New York, produced two world-shaking Bad Girls--iconic vocalist Grace Jones, who ran with the white biker gangs of Syracuse while I was attending Nottingham High School in the late '60s, and erstwhile Warhol Superstar Viva Hoffmann, a hysterical wit and a face so beautiful and brilliant she dominates the screen in every film of Andy's she ever appeared in (Nude RestaurantBlue MovieBike Boy, et al.).

 Now Viva's oldest daughter Alexandra Auder, former actress (Caroline Sinclair auditioned and cast her in Basket Case 2) and present-day internet yoga star, has written a memoir bringing it all back home entitled (haha) DON'T CALL ME HOME all about Growing Up with Viva (and eventually, with Alexandra's little sister Gaby) in the Chelsea Hotel -- with stops in Mexico, the Thousand Islands, Argentina, California, etc. A book so readable and compelling that I raced through it in two days (320 pages). The writing and the stories and the overall mordant, dishy vibe are so fearless and alive on the page -- Auder is SUCH a good writer -- the book makes for spellbinding "you won't put this down once you get started" reading. I can't think of another current writing voice from a female perspective I've been so moved by and engaged with since discovering the work of Elena Ferrante

Seeing that so many of the transgressive art reprobates of the '60s-'70s NYC demi-monde are either currently dead or dysfunctional or in hiding, it's a pleasure to see many of them spring to life and caper across the page again here. And Alexandra Auder pulls no punches and names -- well, sometimes first names only, like famous photographer/artist Cindy...but you'll figure out who's who, if not by inference, then by a quick trawl through Wikipedia.

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