Role Models

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Here, from the incomparable John Waters, is a paean to the power of subversive inspiration that will delight, amuse, enrich—and happily horrify readers everywhere.

Role Models is, in fact, a self-portrait told through intimate profiles of favorite personalities—some famous, some unknown, some criminal, some surprisingly middle-of-the-road. From Esther Martin, owner of the scariest bar in Baltimore, to the playwright Tennessee Williams; from the atheist leader Madalyn Murray O'Hair to the insane martyr Saint Catherine of Siena; from the English novelist Denton Welch to the timelessly appealing singer Johnny Mathis—these are the extreme figures who helped the author form his own brand of neurotic happiness.

Role Models is a personal invitation into one of the most unique, perverse, and hilarious artistic minds of our time.

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About the author

John Waters is an American filmmaker, actor, writer, and visual artist best known for his cult films, including Hairspray, Pink Flamingos, and Cecil B. DeMented. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Published on
May 25, 2010
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781429944571
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Artists, Architects, Photographers
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Light Years is a joyous and defiant coming-of-age memoir set during one of the most turbulent times in American history

"This stunningly beautiful, original memoir is driven by a search for the divine, a quest that leads Rush into some dangerous places . . . The Light Years is funny, harrowing, and deeply tender." —Kate Tuttle, The L.A. Times

"Rush is a fantastically vivid writer, whether he’s remembering a New Jersey of 'meatballs and Windex and hairspray' or the dappled, dangerous beauty of Northern California, where 'rock stars lurked like lemurs in the trees.' Read if you loved... Just Kids by Patti Smith." —Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

“As mythic and wild with love, possibility, and danger as the decades it spans, you’ll read The Light Years with your breath held. Brutal, buoyant and wise to the tender terror of growing up, Chris Rush has written a timeless memoir of boyhood in the American wilderness.” —Emma Cline, author of The Girls

Chris Rush was born into a prosperous, fiercely Roman Catholic, New Jersey family. But underneath the gleaming mid-century house, the flawless hostess mom, and the thriving businessman dad ran an unspoken tension that, amid the upheaval of the late 1960s, was destined to fracture their precarious facade.

His older sister Donna introduces him to the charismatic Valentine, who places a tab of acid on twelve-year-old Rush’s tongue, proclaiming: “This is sacrament. You are one of us now.”

After an unceremonious ejection from an experimental art school, Rush heads to Tucson to make a major drug purchase and, still barely a teenager, disappears into the nascent American counterculture. Stitching together a ragged assemblage of lowlifes, prophets, and fellow wanderers, he seeks kinship in the communes of the west. His adolescence is spent looking for knowledge, for the divine, for home. Given what Rush confronts on his travels—from ordinary heartbreak to unimaginable violence—it is a miracle he is still alive.

The Light Years is a prayer for vanished friends, an odyssey signposted with broken and extraordinary people. It transcends one boy’s story to perfectly illustrate the slow slide from the optimism of the 1960s into the darker and more sinister 1970s. This is a riveting, heart-stopping journey of discovery and reconciliation, as Rush faces his lost childhood and, finally, himself.

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This memoir is an account of his life as a hippie, art director, entrepreneur, manager, and screenwriter (as well as various other hats he wore in the creative industry)—representing musicians like Joe Cocker and Paul Butterfield, art directing at Penthouse magazine, designing “erotic sheets,” writing a screenplay about Marilyn Monroe and her seamstress Lena Pepitone, among other things. With his gung-ho attitude and fortuitous connections, Yandolino befriended Salvador Dali, hung out with Jimi Hendrix, ran with Abbie Hoffman, was kidnapped by a festival security detail in Paris, mixed with models and Penthouse pets, and watched secret Hells Angels initiation ceremonies. Throughout it all, Yandolino’s key message is his “free bird” philosophy of grabbing every chance you can and staying true to one’s artistic individuality. And, in the end, despite his fast life, he was always grounded by his love for his wife, Charli.
 
“A kaleidoscope of a memoir that offers a fresh and intimate perspective on a dizzying array of seminal events and personalities from American popular and underground culture.” —Rob Kirkpatrick, author of 1969: The Year Everything Changed
 
In celebration of its 25th anniversary, the bestselling classic is introduced to a new generation-with an added preface by Warhol's diarist and long-time friend, Pat Hackett, contemplating Warhol's lasting cultural impact. This international literary sensation turns the spotlight on one of the most influential and controversial figures in American culture. Filled with shocking observations about the lives, loves, and careers of the rich, famous, and fabulous, Warhol's journal is endlessly fun and fascinating. Spanning the mid-1970s until just a few days before his death in 1987, THE ANDY WARHOL DIARIES is a compendium of the more than twenty thousand pages of the artist's diary that he dictated daily to Pat Hackett. In it, Warhol gives us the ultimate backstage pass to practically everything that went on in the world-both high and low. He hangs out with "everybody": Jackie O ("thinks she's so grand she doesn't even owe it to the public to have another great marriage to somebody big"), Yoko Ono ("We dialed F-U-C-K-Y-O-U and L-O-V-E-Y-O-U to see what happened, we had so much fun"), and "Princess Marina of, I guess, Greece," along with art-world rock stars Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francis Bacon, Salvador Dali, and Keith Haring. Warhol had something to say about everyone who crossed his path, whether it was Lou Reed or Liberace, Patti Smith or Diana Ross, Frank Sinatra or Michael Jackson. A true cultural artifact, THE ANDY WARHOL DIARIES amounts to a portrait of an artist-and an era-unlike any other.
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