Alice James: A Biography by Jean Strouse

By Jean Strouse

Preface through Colm Tóibín.

The Jameses are possibly the main outstanding and  exotic relations in American highbrow lifestyles. Henry’s novels, celebrated as top-of-the-line within the language, and William’s groundbreaking philosophical and mental works have gained those brothers an enduring position on the heart of the nation’s cultural firmament. much less popular is their enigmatic more youthful sister, Alice. yet as Jean Strouse’s beneficiant, probing, and deeply sympathetic biography indicates, Alice James was once a desirable and extraordinary determine in her personal correct. Tormented all through her brief lifestyles through an array of anxious issues, limited via social conference and inner clash from attaining the worldly luck she wanted, Alice used to be still a vibrant, witty author, an acute social observer, and as alert, inquiring, and interesting an individual as her recognized brothers. “The ethical and philosophical questions that Henry wrote up as fiction and William as science,” writes Strouse, “Alice easily lived.”

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Peggy’s father, Jimmy, was a professional soldier of modest means, and the home they shared on Meadow Lane was close-quartered enough to amplify any breach in acceptable social behavior. Certain studies do indicate that those with schizophrenic brothers and sisters are more likely to exhibit schizophrenic tendencies themselves. Someone with one schizophrenic parent is even more likely to develop the disease. Peggy, the oldest child, ultimately exhibited behavior that might be considered borderline.

He lived here, after all, well into his career as a professional musician. I imagine that he could hear Peggy and John snore in their bedroom. On a Bowie-ist side note—and this probably means little to anyone living in Bromley—directly across from the Crown pub and facing the back fence of David’s house and the window of his room is a black storefront with a giant glass window full of mannequins attired in Renaissance costume or Victorian formal-wear. Its name: Larger Than Life Stagewear: Theatrical Costumes for Hire.

The Arcade Fire had clearly charmed Bowie, reminding him, perhaps, of his own bohemian strum sessions in suburban Beckenham at the end of the sixties. These Arts Labs were held every Sunday night and often lasted until sunrise Monday morning; by then big ideas were shared and strengthened and the mettle of new, hopeful, reaching songs was tested. ” Yes, they were genuinely exciting; U2 had recently embraced them as well. Yes, they were new; their songs offered a forceful emotional stir in an era marked by garage-rock swagger.

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