Lesley M.M. Blume Quotes
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Lesley M. M. Blume is an award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author. The daughter of a classical pianist and a journalist, she followed her father's footsteps into the newsroom, beginning her career at The Jordan Times in Amman and Cronkite Productions in New York City. She later became an off-air reporter and researcher for ABC News Nightline with Ted Koppel in Washington, D.C., where she helped cover the historic presidential election in 2000, the 9/11 attacks, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a myriad of other events and topics.
Blume now specializes in stories on historical cultural achievements, and has documented seminal moments in the careers of Jackson Pollock, Truman Capote, and Ernest Hemingway, among other greats. She contributes regularly to Vanity Fair, and her work has appeared in The New York Times, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, WSJ Magazine, Vogue, Town & Country, Departures, The Hollywood Reporter, The Paris Review Daily, Slate, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications.
On June 7, 2016, Eamon Dolan Books / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt released Blume's new book, Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Sun‘s 1926 release. Reviewers have lauded Everybody Behaves Badly as “essential … a page-turner,” “magnificently reported,” “fiendishly readable,” “riveting,” and “the best book on Hemingway in Paris since A Moveable Feast.” The book became New York Times best seller shortly after its publication.
Everybody Behaves Badly documents the genesis of Hemingway’s career. In the summer of 1925, the now-iconic writer — then twenty-five years old — descended upon Pamplona for its infamous annual bullfight fiesta with a tempestuous entourage in tow, including a femme fatale British aristocrat, a brash, handsome heir who hailed from two of New York’s great Jewish fortunes, one of America’s most celebrated comedic writers, and a down-on-his-luck childhood friend with a penchant for cynical wit.
The holiday quickly spiraled into a morass of sexual rivalry, gory spectacle, brutal hangovers, and black eyes – and gave Hemingway the material he desperately needed to make his breakthrough as a novelist. Upon the release of The Sun Also Rises – which essentially recast all of that bad behavior as high literature — Hemingway was crowned the voice of his “lost” generation and the leader of the modernist movement in fiction – an honorific that still belongs to him today.
Everybody Behaves Badly is the first book to tell the full story behind Hemingway’s earliest published novel and how it propelled him to enduring international fame. Blume’s myth-shattering account features the fascinating figures behind Hemingway’s classic in their own words, and brings 1920s Paris, Pamplona, and New York City alive in an rich and unprecedented way. She culled countless letters, interviews, essays, long-out-of-print memoirs, archives, and interviewed dozens of descendants of the characters’ prototypes and the historical icons who played a vital role in bringing The Sun Also Rises to life — including family members and friends of Hemingway, Jazz Age oracle F. Scott Fitzgerald, redoubtable editor Maxwell Perkins, humorist Donald Ogden Stewart, and many others. She shows how The Sun Also Rises not only immediately defined a generation, but colored the lives of Hemingway’s unwitting prototypes forever.
Her book also explores how Hemingway carefully, relentlessly built his own public persona during this period, which has arguably remained one of America’s most successful cultural exports. At heart, Everybody Behaves Badly is the story of how Hemingway became Hemingway.
Ms. Blume also serves as literary executor of editor, bookseller, and Lost Generation icon Sylvia Beach, founder and owner of Paris’s Shakespeare and Company bookstore and library, and original publisher of James Joyce’s Ulysses as a book.
Blume’s previous nonfiction books include Let's Bring Back.
For young readers, Blume has authored four critically acclaimed novels, all published by Knopf. Her debut children’s novel, Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters, has sold over 300,000 copies. Upon the release of her third children’s novel, Tennyson, reviewers compared her to writers Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, and Truman Capote. Blume’s first collection of short stories for children, Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins, and Other Nasties, was released in 2010; her second collection – The Wondrous Journals of Wendell Wellington Wiggins – debuted in 2012. Knopf released her latest children’s novel – Julia and the Art of Practical Travel – in 2015.
Vogue recently selected Blume as a founding member of the Vogue 100, an organization of “influential decision makers and opinion leaders known for their distinctive taste in fashion and culture, personify the rising influence of women over the past several decades.” Her individualistic personal style has been showcased in many publications, including Vanity Fair; Elle; O, The Oprah Magazine; Women's Wear Daily; Style.com; and the websites of American Vogue and Vogue Italia. She co-created and served as founding editor of The Window, Barneys New York’s online fashion and culture magazine, and was the Huffington Post’s founding contributing Style editor.
She holds a B.A. in history from Williams College and earned her master's degree in historical studies from Cambridge University, where she was a Herchel Smith scholar.