Thursday, September 6, 2012

Have you read Lisa Cohen's "All We Know"?

Read This Book: Lisa Cohen’s “All We Know”
by Hilton Als, The New Yorker, March 12, 2012

"All We Know" by Lisa Cohen
by Courtney Gillette, Lamda Literary, July 10, 2012


Well, to answer my own question, no. At least, not yet. But last night, I went to a dramatic reading by its author, Lisa Cohen, two brilliant theater performers--Moe Angelos and Camelita Tropicana--and renowned makeup artist Dick Page.

All We Know: The Passions of Esther Murphy, Mercedes de Acosta and Madge Garland--directed by Sarah Krohn and presented at Dixon Place--has inspired me to seek out Cohen's All We Know: Three Lives (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2012), the biography of three queer modernists encircled by illustrious friends. Nearly two hours, intermission-less and intricately dense, the reading's effectiveness as theater only came in variously witty fits and starts, and I'm convinced the book will be much more fun. I found Page (the non-actor, reading as British Vogue fashion editor Madge Garland) the most intriguing in that way that happens when a soft manner and British accent force you to lean in to catch half-muffled words and meanings. Not until Angelos (Murphy), Tropicana (de Acosta) and Page, to our surprise, got sprung from their historical roles, free to be themselves, did the evening take off as they launched amusing, if garrulous, monologues dealing with experiences of failure. Just as each of Cohen's subjects could have merited a book of her own, each of these striking personalities are a joy to look at and listen to at length--maybe not all in the same evening, though.

Lisa Cohen on Tumblr

Purchase All We Know: Three Lives

Connect with Dixon Place here.

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