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  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:

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LET’S BRING BACK: THE COCKTAIL EDITION is a top-25 bestseller on Amazon

December 28, 2012

Ms. Blume’s new book about forgotten vintage cocktails and cocktail history — Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition — became a top-25 bestseller on Amazon today.

The book was the subject of a lengthy feature on NPR’s Morning Edition, and was also chosen as a holiday pick by:

* The New York Times (“With this much festivity to pour over ice, who needs mistletoe?”)
* The Daily Beast (“A charming trip into the libations and drunken lore of yesteryear.”)
* The Wall Street Journal
* Vanity Fair (“Get tipsy together on bygone cocktails as you remember the year just past.”)

Click here to hear NPR’s full story, and here to see NPR’s book excerpts, including three pages of vintage cocktail recipes.

Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition was released this fall by Chronicle Books as part of the larger Let’s Bring Back series, which celebrates lost-but-delightful fashions, delectables, landmarks, and personalities from bygone eras.

The original Let’s Bring Back edition – a top-selling, much-beloved multi-topic encyclopedia of nostalgia – was released to acclaim in 2010.  In 2013, Chronicle will also release Let’s Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition, which extols the virtues of certain lost words, phrases, idioms, insults and praises from bygone eras.

The series has also inspired ancillary products, such as the Let’s Bring Back journal and a soon-to-be-released Let’s Bring Back by Lulu Frost jewelry line.

Click here to purchase or pre-order any of the Let’s Bring Back titles.

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NOW AVAILABLE: Ms. Blume’s new book about lost historical cocktails, LET’S BRING BACK: THE COCKTAIL EDITION

September 27, 2012

The great Humphrey Bogart once noted, “The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.”

At last, here’s your excuse to catch up. Introducing Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition, a compendium of long-forgotten libations due for a revival. Culled from ancient times through the 1960s, these delectable vintage cocktails are by turns fizzy and silken, sweet and tart, lethal and prim. Some of them are absurd, several are sentimental, while others are outright scandalous. They include:

* Angel’s Tit – Guaranteed to shock goody-goodies
* Du Barry - To get your mistress into the mood
* Green-Eyed Monster - To serve to frenemies
* Hanky Panky – A vintage aphrodisiac
* Kill Devil Punch – A helpful aid in home exorcisms
* Monkey Gland – An unlikely fountain of youth
* Runt’s Ambition – Serve to men with Napoleon Complex

Throughout this illustrated tome, Ms. Blume divulges colorful cocktail history and barroom wisdom alongside one hundred and forty-four recipes that will delight aperitif aficionados for years to come. Whether you’re toasting to an unexpected windfall, treating a malediction, or simply need an occasion to let your hair down, Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition has the concoction for you.

CLICK HERE TO BUY Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition, and visit the Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition Tumblr here.

Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition is such good reading—it’s a mix of cocktail lore, recipes, anecdotes, and quotations—that even a teetotaler would enjoy it.”
- The Paris Review

Prepare to get punch-drunk.
- Daily Candy


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