JIM HAYNES

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BOOKS AND WRITERS IN MY LIFE

Below is a rough list of 34 books and writers that have been important to me and have greatly contributed to making me me. I have been fortunate in meeting almost all of the authors and in many cases becoming life-long friends with them. The few I did not meet and befriend are a source of regret. I greatly regret that I never thanked Dorothy Parker and Langston Hughes for all the joy and inspiration they both contributed to my life. Jim Haynes.

             
This Is My Best, edited by Whit Burnett, The Dial Press, New York 1942
This Is My Best, edited by Whit Burnett, The Dial Press, New York 1942.
A big fat 1000-page book containing 93 American authors. Found in my father’s library when I was about ten years old and devoured. It is where I first discovered Langston Hughes and Dorothy Parker. And the joy of reading.
  Dorothy Parker, The Portable Dorothy Parker, Penguin 
        Books, New York 1976
Dorothy Parker, The Portable Dorothy Parker, Penguin Books, New York 1976.
Dorothy became a major source of inspiration when I discovered her poetry in my father's library. I am sad that I never communicated my love and appreciation to her.
  Langston Hughes, Selected Poems, Serpent's Tail, London 1999
Langston Hughes, Selected Poems, Serpent's Tail, London 1999.
Langston Hughes, another major source of inspiration, also discovered in my father's library. He was an Afro-American poet and was an early innovator of jazz poetry. He is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance.
  Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Penguin Classics, New York 1986
Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Penguin Classics, New York 1986.
Mark Twain, perhaps America's greatest writer. His two books, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, have been major influences in my life.
This Is My Best, edited by Whit Burnett, The Dial Press, New York 1942.   Dorothy Parker, The Portable Dorothy Parker, Penguin Books, New York 1976.   Langston Hughes, Selected Poems, Serpent's Tail, London 1999.  
Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Penguin Classics, New York 1986.
             
A Henry Miller Reader, edited by John Calder, Picador-Pan Books, 
        London 1985
A Henry Miller Reader, edited by John Calder, Picador-Pan Books, London 1985.
Henry Miller is perhaps my favourite writer. I have read his book, Tropic of Cancer, four times in four different cities : in my teens in America, in my twenties in Edinburgh, in my thirties in London, in my forties in Paris. The same book but four different people. I love, again, his optimism and his love of humanity. John Calder, Sonia Orwell and I co-organized the 1962 Writers' Conference and some 70 writers attended. Henry was there and it was great to meet him. Also spent a day with him in his home in Pacific Palisades in the 70s. When he died, I edited a book in his honour, Homage to Henry, a collection of essays by various writers all over the world who were inspired by him.
  James Jones, From Here to Eternity, Charles Scribner's sons, New 
      York 1951
James Jones, From Here to Eternity, Charles Scribner's sons, New York 1951.
Also read at a very early age - either in Louisiana or in Venezuela. Later in Paris I was able to meet James Jones and even managed to acquire his old raincoat after he acquired a new one. I wore it proudly for many many years.
  John Calder, The Garden of Eros, Calder 
      Publications, London 2013
John Calder, The Garden of Eros, Calder Publications, London 2013.
John is one of my oldest friends. He and I met in 1959 when I opened my bookshop, The Paperback, and I wrote him to order some books he published. He journeyed up to Edinburgh and I became one of his best customers. Our friendship included dozens of projects we undertook together, including the two conferences at the Edinburgh Festival in 1962 and 1963 and the creation of the Traverse Theatre.
  John Flattau, When all else fails, 
      New York 2007
John Flattau, When all else fails, New York 2007.
John and I first encountered in Edinburgh where he was a student and I was running my bookshop. Our friendship has continued all these years. When John decided to quit his law practice and become a photographer, I organized a number of exhibitions of his work in Warsaw, Vilnius, Edinburgh, St. Petersburg, Athens, Paris, Havana and Budapest.
A Henry Miller Reader, edited by John Calder, Picador-Pan Books, London 1985.   James Jones, From Here to Eternity, Charles Scribner's sons, New York, 1951.   John Calder, The Garden of Eros, Calder Publications, London 2013.   John Flattau, When all else fails, New York 2007.
           
Ted Joans, New duck butter poems, Handshake editions, Paris 1981.
Ted Joans, New duck butter poems, Handshake editions, Paris 1981.
Ted Joans, a Jazz poet and friend for many years. We first met in Edinburgh, I think, in the early 60s. Later I published his poetry and created my kitchen-table publishing house, Handshake Editions, in order to do so.
  Jim Campbell, Invisible Country, Weidenfeld and 
        Nicolson, London 1984.
Jim Campbell, Invisible Country, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 1984.
Jim is an editor at the Times Literary Supplement and the author of a number of books including a biography of James Baldwin. I met Jim in Edinburgh in 1970 when I knocked on his door and introduced myself. I have stayed with him many times in Edinburgh and in London and he has been a guest here in my atelier in Paris. I think I introduced him to James Baldwin.
  Dick Gregory, Dick Gregory's Political Primer, 
        edited by James R. McGraw, Harper & Row, New York 1972
Dick Gregory, Dick Gregory's Political Primer, edited by James R. McGraw, Harper & Row, New York 1972.
Dick and I met in London in the 1960s and we became involved in a number of projects. He went to Tehran in 1979 when the US embassy was seized. I then became his connection to the world: he would telephone me daily and I would call on my second phone line to his wife, Lil, in Chicago. I was also his European campaign manager when he stood for president of the United States (in 1968). Had he won, I would have asked to be named ambassador to France.
  Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Almost at the end, Marion 
        Boyars, London 1987
Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Almost at the end, Marion Boyars, London 1987.
Yevgeny and I met when I organized his poetry reading in Edinburgh in 1961 and our friendship continues. He cooked dinner for me and Martin Walker in his dacha outside Moscow in 1985. He invited me to dine with him and Anatoly Sobchak, the mayor of St.Petersburg, after a poetry reading. I sat next to a fellow named Vladimir Putin.
Ted Joans, New duck butter poems, Handshake editions, Paris 1981.   Jim Campbell, Invisible Country, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 1984.   Dick Gregory, Dick Gregory's Political Primer, edited by James R. McGraw, Harper & Row, New York 1972.   Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Almost at the end, Marion Boyars, London 1987.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Betty Dodson, Sex for one, Crown Trade Paperback, New York 1987
Betty Dodson, Sex for one, Crown Trade Paperback, New York 1987.
Betty self-published her book, Liberating Masturbation, and it sold more than 150,000 copies. Later it was re-titled Sex for One and published by Three Rivers, New York. Betty is a true liberator, and as far as I am concerned, one of the most important philosophers and activists in America. We met in the early 70s and I am proud to call her my friend.
  Mike Zwerin, The Parisian Jazz chronicles, Yale University 
      Press, New Haven and London 2005
Mike Zwerin, The Parisian Jazz chronicles, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2005.
Michael was a dear friend. He and I first met in London in the 60s and then when I moved to Paris in 1969, I discovered to my pleasant surprise, that Mike had also moved here. I published several of his books in my Handshake Editions and they were later picked up at the Frankfurt Book Fair and re-issued and re-titled by other major publishers.
  Gore Vidal, Point to Point Navigation, 
        a memoir, 1964 to 2006, Little Brown, London 2006
Gore Vidal, Point to Point Navigation, a memoir, 1964 to 2006, Little Brown, London 2006.
Believe it or not, I met Gore Vidal via one of President Johnson's daughters in London in the 60s. Evangeline Bruce, the glamorous wife of the American Ambassador to the Court of St James, had asked me to take President Johnson's daughter to the theatre and to dinner afterwards. After dinner we went to a party in south London. And there I was introduced to Gore Vidal by Miss Johnson. He and I corresponded from time to time. And we met a number of times, mainly at the Edinburgh Book Festival. Perhaps the greatest essayist in contemporary America.
  Richard Buckminster Fuller, Nine 
        Chains to the Moon, Arcturus Books, Southern Illinois University Press 
        1963.
Richard Buckminster Fuller, Nine Chains to the Moon, Arcturus Books, Southern Illinois University Press 1963.
Bucky is important to me because he is wonderfully optimistic. His optimism is infectious. We met briefly and I heard him speak a number of times. When I decided to make a new verb, I selected his name. To fuller is to spend energy joyfully. See my little book, Workers of the World, Unite and Stop Working!. It was only later that I realized he has a book entitled I Seem to be a Verb. I sent him a copy of the book and reported that now he really was a verb.
Betty Dodson, Sex for one, Crown Trade Paperback, New York 1987.   Mike Zwerin, The Parisian Jazz chronicles, Yale University Press, New Haven and London 2005.   Gore Vidal, Point to Point Navigation, a memoir, 1964 to 2006, Little Brown, London 2006.   Richard Buckminster Fuller, Nine Chains to the Moon, Arcturus Books, Southern Illinois University Press 1963.
           
Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society, Harrow Books, New York 1972
Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society, Harrow Books, New York 1972.
I first read Illich, I think, in The New York Review of Books. I suggested to Marion Boyars that she publish him and she did. All his books. I also taught in his 'school', CIDOC, in Cuernavaca, Mexico in 1972. An important philosopher who needs to be widely read.
  Norman Mailer, Cannibals and Christians, The Dial 
        press, New York 1966
Norman Mailer, Cannibals and Christians, The Dial press, New York 1966.
Norman Mailer was a delegate at the 1962 Writers' Conference in Edinburgh. We met from time to time over the years since then.
  James Baldwin, Giovanni's room, Great Loves, Penguin group, New York 1956
James Baldwin, Giovanni's room, Great Loves, Penguin group, New York 1956.
James and I became friends in London in the 60s. Our friendship continued in France in the 70s and 80s. All his writing produces joy.
  Georges Orwell, Books v. cigarettes, Penguin Books Classics, London 1984
Georges Orwell, Books v. cigarettes, Penguin Books Classics, London 1984.
Orwell's literary output is important for me and millions of others. But as important was my friendship with his widow, Sonia, which began in 1961 when John Calder introduced us, and lasted to her untimely death in 1980...
Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society, Harrow Books, New York 1972.   Norman Mailer, Cannibals and Christians, The Dial press, New York 1966.   James Baldwin, Giovanni’s room, Great Loves, Penguin group, New York 1956.   Georges Orwell, Books v. cigarettes, Penguin Books Classics, London 1984.
             
Alan Furst, Spies of the Balkans, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 2010
Alan Furst, Spies of the Balkans, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 2010.
I met Alan through old friend John Flattau. I am a big fan of Alan's books and read them immediately a new one is released. Often he sends me a copy before it is available in bookstores.
  Cara Black, Murder below Montparnasse, Soho Press 2013
Cara Black, Murder below Montparnasse, Soho Press, 2013.
Cara has written 13 mysteries all set in various arrondissements in Paris. I think I have read them all. Murder below Montparnasse is her latest and it is set in Alesia and dedicated to my upstairs neighbour, Fauvette Paupert. Cara also kindly thanks me in her acknowledgements. She and I toured the Alesia area together and I pointed out various pieces of information. For example, Lenin lived in rue Marie Rose from 1909 to 1912, only a few blocks away.
  23.	Martin Walker, Bruno, Chief of Police, Quercus, London 2008
Martin Walker, Bruno, Chief of Police, Quercus, London 2008.
Martin and I first met in London in the 60s. I stayed briefly with him and his wife, Julia, in Moscow in 1985 when he was the Moscow correspondent for The Guardian. Now he stays here in Paris whenever he needs a bed. He even has his own key. Highly recommend his Bruno series all set in the Périgord.
  Sally Belfrage, Un-American Activities, Harper Collins, New York 1994
Sally Belfrage, Un-American Activities, Harper Collins, New York 1994.
Sally and I met in the late 50s when I wrote her a fan letter after reading her book, A Room in Moscow. Later she and I became friends and I stayed with her almost every time I travelled to London after I moved to Paris. She died tragically young and is greatly missed by her many friends and admirers.
Alan Furst, Spies of the Balkans, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 2010.   Cara Black, Murder below Montparnasse, Soho Press 2013.   Martin Walker, Bruno, Chief of Police, Quercus, London 2008.   Sally Belfrage, Un-American Activities, Harper Collins, New York 1994.
           
Lynne Tillman, Cast in Doubt, Poseidon Press, New York 1992
Lynne Tillman, Cast in Doubt, Poseidon Press, New York 1992.
Lynne and I first met in Paris in Shakespeare & Co in 1968. Later she became my assistant in the London Arts Lab. I became one of her first publishers. She later became one of America's finest writers.
  Suzanne Brøgger, Deliver Us from Love, Handshake editions, Paris.
Suzanne Brøgger, Deliver Us from Love, Handshake editions, Paris.
Suzanne's book, Deliver Us from Love, was first published in her native Denmark and went on to be published in a dozen or more languages. When it went out of print in its American edition, my Handshake Editions kept it in print for a number of years.
  Kenneth Tynan, Letters, edited by Kathleen Tynan, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 1994
Kenneth Tynan, Letters, edited by Kathleen Tynan, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 1994.
Ken Tynan was perhaps the most important theatre critic in Britain in the 20th century. He was involved with John Calder and yours truly when we organized the Drama Conference as a part of the 1963 Edinburgh Festival. Both Ken and his wife Kathleen remained my friends until they departed life.
  Garry Davis, World Government, ready or not!, The Juniper Ledge publishing co., Sorrento, Maine 1984
Garry Davis, World Government, ready or not!, The Juniper Ledge publishing co., Sorrento, Maine 1984.
Garry declared himself a World Citizen in 1948. The former World War II B-17 bomber pilot started a crusade that he continues to this day. In 1971 I became involved with Garry when I travelled to a small French town on the Swiss border where he was then living and joined forces with him. My atelier in Paris served for most of the 70s as an Embassy for World Government and I issued World Passports to hundreds of people seven days a week and almost 24 hours a day. This Embassy was never closed. Until one day the French police closed us down.
Lynne Tillman, Cast in Doubt, Poseidon Press, New York 1992.   Suzanne Brøgger, Deliver Us from Love, Handshake editions, Paris.   Kenneth Tynan, Letters, edited by Kathleen Tynan, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 1994.   Garry Davis, World Government, ready or not!, The Juniper Ledge publishing co., Sorrento, Maine 1984.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty & War, Atlantic Books, London 2005
Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty & War, Atlantic Books, London 2005.
I only knew Christopher briefly. He once crashed a party I co-hosted in Paris for the President of Lithuania, Vytautas Landsbergis. Later I organized a dinner for him after he talked in the Village Voice. A delightful fellow in every way and a super essayist.
  Ryszard Kapuscinski, The Soccer War, Granta Books, London 1990
Ryszard Kapuscinski, The Soccer War, Granta Books, London 1990.
I first read Ryszard's books in the 80s and communicated with him to declare that I was a fan. He and I corresponded for a number of years and I visited him often in Warsaw in the 80s. Once when I travelled to Warsaw from Moscow, I failed to call him and continued on the night train to Berlin. On arrival in Berlin, I left the station in search of a café for my breakfast. And at a stop light near the station, I encountered Kapuscinski. We had a wonderful breakfast together.
  Ian Rankin, The Naming of the Dead, Orion Books, London 2006
Ian Rankin, The Naming of the Dead, Orion Books, London 2006.
Ian and I met in Edinburgh. I do not remember how or when. It is a joy to read his books most of which are set in Edinburgh. I see him now every August during my annual safari to the Festival.
  Alexander McCall Smith, The N°1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Abacus, London 2012
Alexander McCall Smith, The N°1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Abacus, London 2012.
Alexander and I were introduced in Edinburgh through Charlie MacLean, sometime in the 80s, I think. His books depict contemporary Edinburgh in all its colours. Alexander McCall Smith is also the author of a series based on the proprietor of the finest ladies' detective agency in all Botswana (also the only one).
Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty & War, Atlantic Books, London 2005.   Ryszard Kapuscinski, The Soccer War, Granta Books, London 1990.   Ian Rankin, The Naming of the Dead, Orion Books, London 2006.   Alexander McCall Smith, The N°1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Abacus, London 2012.
           
Scott Griffith, Transplantings, a memoir (privately published in 2012 for his family and friends)
Scott Griffith, Transplantings, a memoir (privately published in 2012 for his family and friends).
Scott has been a dear friend ever since we first encountered in my bookshop, The Paperback, in Edinburgh in the summer of 1960. It is delightful to read Scott's viewpoint of so many shared friends and adventures. I feel this book needs to be published and widely read. A real gem.
  Alaa Al Aswany, The Yacoubian Building, Harper Perennial, New York 2006
Alaa Al Aswany, The Yacoubian Building, Harper Perennial, New York 2006.
One of the most important, if not the most important, writer in the Arabic-speaking world. We first met in Edinburgh at the Book Festival and later again in Paris. His novel, The Yacoubian Building, is superb. It was made into a film, the most expensive ever produced in Egypt. I highly recommended the film to the Calcutta Film Festival where it was successfully screened.
       
Scott Griffith, Transplantings, a memoir (privately published in 2012 for his family and friends).   Alaa Al Aswany, The Yacoubian Building, Harper Perennial, New York 2006.        
             
   

 

 

 

   
             
 

 

 

 

 

 

Books and writers in my life

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