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Everyone comes to Elaine's : forty years of movie stars, all-stars, literary lio
Hotchner, A. E.
Adult Nonfiction TX945.5.E43 H68 2004

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The daughter of working-class Jewish New Yorkers, Elaine Kaufman barely graduated from high school, but for some 40 years she has owned and managed one of the most exclusive nightspots in Manhattan: Elaine's. As Hotchner (Papa Hemingway) puts it, what "Rick's place was to Casablanca, Elaine's is to New York." Soon after Elaine bought the old neighborhood bar at 88th Street and Second Avenue in 1963, she welcomed writers as her favored clients, allowing them to run tabs and make her place their second home. Authors George Plimpton, Pete Hamill, Hotchner and others were among Elaine's earliest customers-but as word spread, the tables filled. After the writers came their agents and editors, and then glitterati of all persuasions. As Hotchner explains, the food has never been the point (sometimes it's quite inedible, he indicates). But the atmosphere is everything, and the atmosphere is pure Elaine. Young men just starting out could eat at Elaine's and find their first agent, sell their first play or be consoled over their first failures. As for young women, well, Elaine's nastiness was notorious, reports Hotchner. Writers' wives were treated, according to Nora Ephron, "as if they were temps." "Women were not welcomed at early Elaine's, except as d?cor," Jules Feiffer remarked. Why? Perhaps Elaine herself needed to be "the principal female attraction," as Gay Talese put it. Readers offended by Elaine's misogyny may savor the account, near the end, of her disastrous attempt to lose weight and get a husband. Hotchner isn't known for writing fluff, but this reads like an extended glossy magazine feature, dripping with famous names and celebrity photos, full of dish-but leaving readers with little appetite. Photos. (On sale Mar. 30) Forecast: This titillating tribute to a New York City landmark is bound to attract local and national media coverage, culminating in respectable sales. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Well, not everyone comes to Elaine's, a New York City eatery of the rich and famous, because most are barred entry. And those who get in don't go for the food-they go because of owner and manager Elaine Kaufman, a tough, typical New Yorker who doesn't suffer fools and has a fondness for writers. For 40 years, she has been table-hopping, mothering and encouraging her celebrity customers. One of her regulars, Hotchner (The Day I Fired Alan Ladd and Other World War II Adventures) based this book on a piece he wrote for Vanity Fair in 2002, providing readers with fly-on-the-wall access to a restaurant heretofore off-limits to average people. Dozens of recollections and anecdotes are included from regulars such as Woody Allen, Norman Mailer, and Nora Ephron, as are photographs documenting the hijinks of the rich and powerful. Elaine comes off as capricious about who gets a table and asserts herself physically if someone gets out of line; her favorites, on the other hand, are treated like family. She always manages to have a table for those lucky few, even if it means throwing somebody else out. Fun, but not an essential purchase, for celebrity gossips.-Rosellen Brewer, Monterey Cty. Free Libs., Salinas, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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