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WEAR & TEAR: The Threads of my Life
Bibliophile price: £2.50
A candid, entertaining memoir told through clothes. Tracy Peacock Tynan grew up in swinging London and New York in the 1950's and 60s, privy to her parents' glamorous parties and famous friends - Laurence Olivier, Gore Vidal, Vivien Leigh, and Orson Welles. Cecil Beaton and Katharine Hepburn were her godparents. Tracy was named after Katherine Hepburn's character, Tracy Lord, in the classic film, The Philadelphia Story. These stylish showbiz people were role models for Tracy, who became a clotheshorse at a young age. Tracy's father, Kenneth Tynan, was a powerful theatre critic and writer for the Evening Standard, The Observer, and The New Yorker. Her mother was Elaine Dundy, a successful novelist and biographer. They were known as much for what they wore as what they wrote. She recalls her father's dandy attire and her mother's Pucci dresses, her own Ozzie Clarke dresses, actors she dressed including Richard Gere, Bruce Willis and Julie Andrews, as well as her parents' rancorous marriage and divorce, her father's prodigious talents and celebrity lifestyle, and her mother's lifelong struggle with addiction. She tackles issues big and small using clothes as an entrée - relationships, marriage, raising her two children, stepchildren, blended families, her parent's decline and deaths, and her work as a costume designer are all recounted with humour. 303 pages. Line art.

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