Nasty: My Family and Other Glamorous Varmints

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9780743267045: Nasty: My Family and Other Glamorous Varmints

Proving his savoury wit and saucy prose in two previous books, Simon Doonan has established himself as one of today's most dazzling literary humorists. Now, in his breakthrough memoir, the writer whom Liz Smith calls 'the brashest and most brilliant thing in type' revisits his formative years and the defiantly eccentric, loveably odd family he calls his own. Long before he became a celebrity - as a social commentator on VH1 and as the marketing genius behind Barney's New York - Simon Doonan was a 'scabby kneed troll' mired in Reading. The essays in NASTY chronicle the misadventures of the Doonan clan in all their endearingly dysfunctional glory. Readers meet his mum Betty, whose gravity-defying, peroxide-yellow hairdo proudly announced to the world her innate sense of glamour; father Terry, an amateur vintner who transforms parsnips into the legendary Chateau Doonan; grandfather D.C., a betting man who plots to win his fortune by turning Simon into a jockey; and other assorted relatives exhibiting varying degrees of sanity. Fearing he will contract a genetically transmitted insanity bug, Doonan decamps with his flamboyant best friend Biddie to London, where he hopes to establish himself among the Beautiful People, those elusive creatures who luxuriate on floor pillows and amuse each other with bon mots. Throughout his memoir, Doonan continues his bumbling pursuit of the fabulous life, only to learn, in the end that perhaps the Beautiful People were the ones he left behind.

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About the Author:

Simon Doonan is the bestselling author of Wacky Chicks and Confessions of a Window Dresser. In addition to his role as creative director of Barneys New York, Simon writes the "Simon Says" column for The New York Observer. He frequently contributes observations and opinions to myriad other publications and television shows. He is a regular commentator on VH1, the Trio network, and Full Frontal Fashion. He lives in New York City with his partner, Jonathan Adler, and his Norwich terrier, Liberace.

From Publishers Weekly:

"Nastiness is rich. Nastiness is fun." And in this colorful memoir, nasty is also quite enjoyable. Doonan (Wacky Chicks), creative director of Barney's New York, was raised in the industrial wasteland of 1950s and '60s Reading, England. He craved glamour and excitement; what he had instead were two cheeky working-class parents: the fabulous Betty, who sported peroxide-yellow hair and spike heels; and Terry, who embraced amateur wine-making with near-religious fervor. After all, in an "extended family of assorted lodgers and mentally ill relatives," alcohol helped. "It was all quite nasty," Doonan explains, so he and his drag performer friend Biddie headed to London in search of the Beautiful People. Instead, they found crazy characters and lowly prostitutes, people Doonan recalls with unabashed glee. Armed with a relentless joie de vivre, Doonan takes readers on a breezy joyride through his life, focusing less on his career trajectory than on his kooky formative years. Humor is his ultimate weapon, and whether Doonan's in Los Angeles getting arrested in Vivienne Westwood plaid bondage trousers or coping with a gay-bashing policeman in Blackpool, he keeps his comic cool. This endearing book pays tribute to a madcap childhood and the power of familial love. Photos.
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