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“I loved this memoir! The reader does not need to care about wine or know who Anne Fadiman is or Clifton Fadiman was. This is a book about family and how the differences between us can be one of the many things that actually draw us together. It is also about the life of a man who became a literary critic, editor, and radio host and was also the author's beloved father. Anne Fadiman is a fine writer with an ability to bring life to a variety of subjects, as has been shown in her previous essays and memoirs. One of the best memoirs to arrive on our scene in quite a while.”
— Penny McConnel (M), Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT
In The Wine Lover's Daughter, Anne Fadiman examines--with all her characteristic wit and feeling--her relationship with her father, Clifton Fadiman, a renowned literary critic, editor, and radio host whose greatest love was wine.
An appreciation of wine--along with a plummy upper-crust accent, expensive suits, and an encyclopedic knowledge of Western literature--was an essential element of Clifton Fadiman's escape from lower-middle-class Brooklyn to swanky Manhattan. But wine was not just a class-vaulting accessory; it was an object of ardent desire. The Wine Lover's Daughter traces the arc of a man's infatuation from the glass of cheap Graves he drank in Paris in 1927; through the Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 1904 he drank to celebrate his eightieth birthday, when he and the bottle were exactly the same age; to the wines that sustained him in his last years, when he was blind but still buoyed, as always, by hedonism.
Wine is the spine of this touching memoir; the life and character of Fadiman's father, along with her relationship with him and her own less ardent relationship with wine, are the flesh. The Wine Lover's Daughter is a poignant exploration of love, ambition, class, family, and the pleasures of the palate by one of our finest essayists.