Buy the Book
I'm Wild Again: Snippets From My Life
and a Few Brazen Thoughts
By Helen Gurley Brown
(St. Martin's Press, 287 pages, $24.95)
Twenty-five years ago when I wrote for Cosmopolitan, I was lunching with one of the editors when the conversation turned to the enigma that was Helen Gurley Brown. "I guess we'll have to wait for her autobiography," I said.
The editor shook her head. "Helen will never open up."
She was right. Brown's new book, far from being the tell-all of its advance publicity, is exactly what the subtitle says it is: snippets from a life, some of them taken almost verbatim from her earlier books, which in turn were variations on the theme of her first book, Sex and the Single Girl, the 1962 self-help land mine that gave her her start.
Word comes from the great state of California that Gore Vidal, literary politician, has once again transmogrified into Gore Vidal, professional politician. Matched against Jerry Brown and other beauties, Vidal will contend for the United States Senate seat now occupied by S.I. Hayakawa, who is retiring in order to devote more time to his naps.
Is this good news or bad for fans of Vidal's writing, among whom I count myself? At first glance it would seem that we have here a source of sorrow. After all, it is likely that a victorious Vidal would proceed to dissipate his energies in debates over tax cuts, anti-abortion legislation, and subsidles for farmers, these high-minded concerns being, of course, a senator's lot. On the other hand, a spell on Capitol Hill might serve in the long run to improve Vidal's writing by rendering him so weary of public affairs that politics would never again putrify his prose.