OUT TODAY: Blume’s new novel for children, JULIA AND THE ART OF PRACTICAL TRAVEL

March 10, 2015

Available today in stores and via online retailers everwhere: Lesley Blume’s new novel for children, Julia and the Art of Practical Travel.  The Wall Street Journal calls the book a “wise and tender story.”  Its characters are “delightful and quirky,” adds the School Library Journal.

JULIA coverHere’s what happens in the book’s pages: When her grandmother dies and the once-majestic family estate is sold, eleven-year-old Julia Lancaster and her aunt Constance take to the road to find Julia’s long-lost mother. They bring with them only the most practical travel things—silver candlestick holders, a few Oriental carpets, some steamer trunks, and Julia’s beloved Brownie camera, which she will use to document their journey across 1960s America.

On the road, Julia and her aunt meet a cast of peculiar characters, including guitar-strumming hippies in Greenwich Village, a legendary voodoo queen in New Orleans, the honorable proprietor of the World’s End Cattle Ranch in Texas, and the colorful sheriff of Gold Point, Nevada (population: 1), who also happens to be the town’s mayor, fire chief, and reverend. But will they find Julia’s mother and a place to call home?

Poignant, engaging, and funny, Blume’s new novel is a meditation on the thin line between being an insider and being an outsider, and the deep-rooted need we all have to find a place where we can feel at home.

BUY THE BOOK: Click here to order Julia and the Art of Practical Travel.

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NEW COLUMN: Ms. Blume launches MOMENT IN TIME, celebrating historical beauty in Hollywood

February 25, 2014

Today Violet Grey – a just-launched insider Hollywood digital publication – launched Ms. Blume’s new column, Moment in Time, which celebrates Hollywood’s most stylish historical moments as encapsulated in a single photographic image.

The inaugural subject: the great Anjelica Huston, muse and collaborator to some of the greatest auteurs of the modern film and fashion industries, from Halston to Wes Anderson to Richard Avedon.

Huston’s individualism, unconventional beauty, and intelligent glamour make her the perfect Moment in Time subject. While it was difficult to pick one picture among the countless glamorous images of Huston, Ms. Blume and the Violet Grey team loved this 1975 Oscars red carpet photograph of Huston with actor Jack Nicholson, her then-paramour.

In the interview, Huston tells Ms. Blume about that exceptional evening (from getting ready in a mere hour to the legendary Oscars after-parties at Swifty’s), falling in love with Jack Nicholson for the first time (while admitting that she’s still a little bit in love with him), and ponders what makes a woman truly glamorous.

Violet Grey is a new Hollywood-based editorial e-commerce site celebrating beauty at its most compelling.  The site includes The Violet Files, a digital magazine dedicated to documenting Hollywood beauty culture in collaboration with celebrated storytellers in fashion and film.   Click here to learn more.

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Ms. Blume wins prestigious award for her VANITY FAIR cover story about Jackson Pollock

May 17, 2013

Last night, Ms. Blume was awarded the prestigious 2013 Deadline Club Best Arts Reporting award for her September 2012 Vanity Fair cover story about the controversy surrounding what may have been the final painting of iconic artist Jackson Pollock.

The annual awards honor excellence in works of journalism published in the previous year; this year, more than 80 judges sifted through a record 500 entries from a broad swath of media, including newspapers, magazines, radio, television and digital media outlets.

Vanity Fair made a strong showing with six nominations in various categories, and also took home awards on behalf of the late Christopher Hitchens for opinion writing, and for the best magazine feature reporting (William Langewiesche).

Ms. Blume is a regular contributor to the magazine and VanityFair.com.  Her award-winning article, “The Canvas and the Triangle,” documents the fiery authentication battle waged by Pollock’s former mistress, Ruth Kligman, over a small work titled Red, Black & Silver – allegedly created for her just weeks before Pollock’s tragic death in 1956.

Click here for more information about the Deadline Club, which has been supporting high journalistic standards since 1925.

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April 1, 2013

In the past, expressions like horsefeathers (nonsense), blinkers (see also: barnacles, peepers, cheaters, and spectacles), and coxy-loxy (drunk – but in a good natured way) were all the go around town.  Yet they have since disappeared from the English lexicon in favor of far more pedestrian modern expressions.

Lunch instead of luncheonPlayer instead of rapscallion, varlet, or scapegrace?  Stockings instead of gamcases?  Zzzzzzz, to say the least.

It’s easy to forget that history is positively brimming with rich, colorful, often-naughty and wildly clever expressions deserving of rejuvenation. In her latest Let’s Bring Back volume, Let’s Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition — now available online and at bookstores everywhere — Lesley M. M. Blume gathers forgotten words, phrases, names, insults, and idioms, plus fascinating and amusing anecdotes, etymologies, and occasions for use.

Let’s Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition takes readers on a philological journey through words from ancient times through the 1990s. From all-overish to zounds, the vintage vernacular collected here will make any reader the cat’s meow among friends, relations, and acquaintances.

The book also features guest contributions from some of today’s most celebrated novelists, essayists, journalists, philosophers, and other literary types, including Christopher Buckley, Sloane Crosley, Cokie Roberts, Jim Shepard, and many more.

CLICK HERE TO BUY Let’s Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition.


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NEW BOOK DEAL: Ms. Blume to pen a biography documenting Hemingway’s early Paris years

March 8, 2013

Ms. Blume is delighted to announce a book deal for her first major biography, to be released by Eamon Dolan Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

The book, provisionally titled All Things Truly Wicked, will document the real-life events that inspired Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 debut novel, The Sun Also Rises.  Although Hemingway wrote the book over a mere six weeks following a raucous 1925 trip to a Pamplona bullfighting festival, it was years in the making: All Things Truly Wicked will chronicle Hemingway’s early years in Paris, as he delved into the creative expat community there, and crafted the revolutionary writing style and masterpiece that would change the course of literature forever.

Countless Lost Generation icons played a role (either wittingly or not) in the creation of The Sun Also Rises, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and Ford Madox Ford.  The book will detail the intersecting lives and ambitions of these greats – and how they all contributed to what would become the legendary Hemingway persona.   From Paris’s zinc bars to Pamplona’s dusty bullrings to the intrepid publishing houses of Jazz Age New York City, the literary scene of this era will be brought to life again in vivid detail.

The book is scheduled to be released in 2016, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the publication of The Sun Also Rises.

For press inquiries, please contact Lori Glazer, Vice President, Executive Director of Publicity, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: lori.glazer@hmhpub.com

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