Jim Haynes newsletters

Newsletter No. 724
A Look Back at 2013
18 December 2012

All in all a pretty good year.


  The Scottish Sixties, reading, Rebellion, Revolution? Edited by Eleanor Bell and Linda Gunn, Editions Rodopi B.V. 2013
The Scottish Sixties, reading, Rebellion, Revolution?
edited by Eleanor Bell and Linda Gunn
Editions Rodopi B.V.

Trips: Not many travels this year. My usual one to the Edinburgh Festival in August where I stayed once again with Ruth Holloway and Martin Burke in Great King Street. It was my 56th Edinburgh Festival. This year was distinguished by the fact that the theatre I founded, The Traverse, celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. I was also an Associate Producer of two shows on the Fringe: Broadway Enchanté with Isabelle Georges and Frederik Steenbrink, a tribute to the Broadway musical that was staged in the Assembly on the Mound and Toni Bentley's The Surrender with Isabelle Stoffel in the old Men's Union now called Teviot. Both were critically well received and everyone had a lot of fun. The Surrender later was performed for five weeks in Buenos Aires and there is now talk of Isabelle Stoffel performing it in the German-language in Switzerland. I hosted a party for the casts of both productions in the Scottish Arts Club.
In early December, I treated myself to the Talgo night sleeper to Barcelona where I stayed four days meeting old friends. Mainly it was Isabelle Stoffel and Sigfrid Monleon. The Talgo night trains have now been discontinued. Alas, they were fun. But it is highly probable that I will take the train next week to Valencia and/or San Sabastian for another four day trip.


Books: A friend, Eleanor Bell, co-edited a book entitled The Scottish Sixties which featured on the cover the famous photograph by the late Alan Daiches of the burning of the Penguin book, Lady Chatterley's Lover, in front of my bookshop with Ben Lassers and yours truly looking on. Cara Black, who has published 13 books all set in the various arrondissements of Paris, published recently Murder Below Montparnasse, set in Alesia. She dedicated it to my upstairs neighbor, Madame Peaupert who I introduced to her. She also gives me a warm thank you. We organized a party for her and some 20 of her fans here on a Sunday evening. Another friend, Martin Walker, continues to publish his series of books all set in the Perigord in the South of France that features Bruno, the local policeman. The German Booksellers Association recently honored Martin for selling one million copies in Germany. Another friend, Alan Furst, is busy finishing his new book set in Paris in the 1930s. And still another friend, Meg Bortin, has written and published her memoirs, Desperate to be a Housewife. I have read it and can report it is a fun read.

Exhibitions: The major show in my home gallery, entitled "Books and Writers in my Life" featured some 36 writers who have been important to me. The current show features Cara Black, Martin Walker and Alan Furst.

  Cara Black, Murder below Montparnasse, Soho Press Inc., New-York, NY
Cara Black, Murder below Montparnasse
Soho Press Inc., New-York, NY

Media Attention: The BBC TV programme, The Culture Show, broadcast a documentary about the history of the Traverse. It was fairly accurate and a lot of fun. United Airlines and Delta airlines both featured the Sunday dinners in recent issues of their in-flight magazines.

Parties: The Sunday dinners continue. One of the high points of the year was the surprise celebration co-organized by Cathy Monnet, Mary Bartlett and Antonia Hoogewerf of my 80th birthday. My birthday is the 10th of November which fell on a Sunday, so it was decided that the party would be held on the 9th. Initially I was against this party, but in the end it was wonderful in every way. Jesper's mother, Vivika, came from Sweden with her husband, Gosta. Jesper flew over from New York with his beautiful wife, Takae. And Takae's mother journeyed from Japan. Alek and Sasha Stefanovic traveled from Milano. Barbara and Scott Griffith came up from the South of France. Old friend, John Flattau, crossed the Atlantic to spend a week in Paris. Alek Keiller and Paula Klein crossed the Seine. Susie Parker came from Sydney. Susi Wyss walked up the street. Dorota Chrisp jumped across the Channel to join the fun. My favorite film critic, Lisa Nesselson, and her fellow, Glen Myrent also present. Evgenija Demnievska arranged a slide show that was projected on the wall. Maria Rankov gave me tickets to a Bob Dylan concert, (which we later both attended and did not enjoy). Natalia Shkola came over from London. Isabelle Georges and Frederik Steenink added glamour to the evening. Frederik sang several songs. So many friends were here that I almost did not mind turning 80.

Health: My doctors and nurses all take good care of me. Vive la France! The best medical care in the world! My GP, Frank Slattery, keeps a close eye on me. My heart doctor, Claude Zeitoun, warns me about salt. The nurses, Barbara Engrand, and Estelle Pilade, check on me two times daily. I love life and have no plans to leave it anytime soon.

My "roommate", Kristi McIntosh, continues to live in the downstairs room and to bring constant joy into my life with her salads and beautiful smile.

Plans and projects: To be announced. The Sunday dinners all year brought joy to many people and I have very intention of continuing to do so.

To be continued...




Martin Walker, Meurtre en Périgord, Éditions du Masque, Paris
Martin Walker, Meurtre en Périgord
Éditions du Masque, Paris


Jim Haynes
December 2013

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




Jim Haynes' newsletter