Jim Haynes newsletters

Newsletter No. 60
4 November, 1983

A few days ago I had tea with a friend, Brigitte Miguel. She baked a fantastic chocolate cake, one of the best I have ever eaten, and we talked and talked about life, Paris in the autumn, other human beings, about Poland & the many problems there, and about how wonderful and how simple life can be. Brigitte is beautiful, intelligent, sensitive, warm and generous. Her only fault seems to be her failure to spread herself around. A woman as wonderful as Brigitte should share her love with many people. Why do so many people continue to "save" their love only for one person at a time? After our warm conversation, I was glowing. I wanted to hug her, to embrace her, but she would not permit it, and so I wandered off into the afternoon a bit sad, a bit depressed. I wrote a letter to her in my head and intended to put it on paper when I reached home, but my atelier was full of visitors and I did not write as I had intended. The next morning to my pleasant surprise I received a sweet letter from Brigitte thanking me for our lovely afternoon together. Now I am writing her the letter that I intended to send to her. I hope that she does not object to its public aspect...

Another autumn in Paris, my 15th in a row. Autumn also means another Frankfurt Book Fair. This year I spent a lot of time at the Faber & Faber Stand where my autobiography, Thanks for Coming!, was on display. The book is wonderful, if you will forgive my saying so. Faber have done an excellent job. It not only captures the flavor of my life but also is packed with golden moments and people of the past twenty-five years or so. Of course it does not contain as much as I would wish, but it does manage a great deal in some 350 pages. The Managing Director, Matthew Evans, led a team of Faber people that included Robert McCrum (who first saw my manuscript with Fanny Dubes at last year's Book Fair), Mike McLennan (Export Sales), Tony Pocock (responsible for selling the book for other language editions), Michael Geoghegan (the European Rep for bookshops. Everyone seemed to be as excited about the book as I am. Fanny Dubes, who played such a vital role in the book's publication, was also at the Fair.

I stayed in Frankfurt in Claudia Honegger and Ulf Matthiesen's new apartment just minutes away from the Fair. (Ulf also has a new book published but I cannot remember its name in German.)

This year no Catherine Hilliard (who is in love and living in Rio), no Dan Topolski (who was in Greece recovering from an illness), no Bill Levy (who was in Amsterdam taking care of Little Swan), no Bernard Holtrop (who was in Indonesia riding a train), but there were lots of Book Fair "regulars". Of course Martin Lehberger and Fershid Bharucha (we drove from Paris together as always), Carole Livingston Stuart and Lyle Stuart (holding court daily... Carole wrote in their Book Fair report: Jim Haynes looked very "establishment" with his new haircut and freshly pressed shirt and pants..." Paula cut my hair and everyone seems to think it makes me look younger.), John Calder and Sheila Colvin (I also used John's Stand as one of my resting spots. Sheila reports the Edinburgh Festival will start a week earlier next summer, from 12 Aug to 1 Sept), Elisabeth and Jaco Groot (I managed to introduce Jaco and Tom Fenton to each other), Maurice Girodias (looking great, but who only stayed one day at the Fair), Inge Feltrinelli (who wrote me after the Fair to say that she liked Thanks for Coming!), Inge Krahn (who co-hosted the Rowohlt Café where Martin and I spent a lot of time), Heather Waddell, Peter Owen, Charles Skilton, Sonny Mehta, Paul Harris, Bill Daley, Jan Meng, Alex Stefanovic and team (Nena and Alexandra), Arthur and Marion Boyars, Unn Palm and Hans-Willem Kuijl, Claus Clausen, and oh so many other delightful individuals...

I left the Book Fair and rushed home to Paris in order to be at my first day of University classes and to be a few days with Paula, Dorota, Ree Craig, Heather Downs, Anna Gutkowska, Lu Griffin. What a great bunch of lovely ladies staying with me. (Just call me Pasha!) Arrange for John Williams to take my classes, then fly off to Warsaw for my second "Jazz Jamboree"...


Tim & Marie-France Gravois photo RR

The above photograph features Colin Gravois (from Louisiana and a long time resident of Paris) with his beautiful wife, Hamida, and their two daughters, Hana (born 28 II 81) and Kenza (born 29 VIII 83). He and I have been friends for over ten years. He is a fan of my newsletters. I hope he enjoys this one!

Now let me write a few words about "The Jazz Jamboree" and Poland and the many wonderful friends I have there. Mike Zwerin was supposed to have travelled with me but did not get his visa in time. (Mike is in London as I write this for the publication of his autobiography, Close Enough for Jazz (Quartet Books).) I stayed four nights in the Forum Hotel and four nights with Barbara Hoff and her wonderful husband, Robert Kulesza. I heard a lot of great music and I met a lot of superb people. "The String Connection" (a group of musicians from various cities in Poland who I met in Paris last Spring) was the first concert to start this year's festival and Miles Davis ended it for me. I have this crazy love affair going with Warsaw and all the people in Poland. The people there are in great need. Yet at the same time the are so warm, so giving, so generous. If any of you out there is unhappy about life in the West, I recommend that you go to Poland for a week and appreciate all we have here in the West. My first visit to Poland took place two years ago and since then I have been sending a lot of food and clothes to them. If any of you would like to help, let me know I can give you names and addresses. OK, I know that Poland is not the only place in the world that needs help. Lots of people and places need help. We in the West are too rich. We have so much and yet we moan and groan, we complain. One friend, Marta Martelinska, needs clothes for her two-year-old son, Wojtek, so if you have something for him, send them to U1. Potocka 6 m 118, 01 652 Warszawa, Poland. I know that she would appreciate it... I met so many delightful individuals that it is impossible to list them. Instead let us go next year to the festival and I will introduce you to them all...

In six days, on the 10th of November, I will be celebrating (quietly I hope in bed with two beautiful ladies!!!) a half century of life on Earth. If the next half is as good as the first, and I have no reason to think otherwise (in spite of a few aching bones), then "Watch out world! Here I come!"... I plan to have a quiet autumn and winter, staying a lot at home. I hope to receive your love and greetings (via visits, letters and friends). I plan to go over to London for the autobiography's publication (the 13th of February) and maybe try to be in America in April or May (when Faber will publish it there).

I have a thousand more things to say, but I think that I will bring this to a close now and have some tea with Ree and Echnaton (whose book Handshake has just published). So greetings and love to all of you out there. Please send me your news and love. And if you have books you do not want, send them to Beata Krupska (U1. Zelwerowicza 46, Warsaw) who hopes to start a foreign-language bookshop and she needs books in English, French, German, etc. etc.




P.S. Marie-France and Tim Chester produced a baby girl, Penelope Michele Chester, the 23rd of Sept 1983.

Jim Haynes
4 November, 1983

Atelier A-2,
83 rue de la tombe Issoire,
75014 Paris France




Jim Haynes' newsletter