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My Life at Grey Gardens: 13 Months and…

My Life at Grey Gardens: 13 Months and Beyond (2007)

by Lois Wright

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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I tried to get into the whole Beale thing, but I don't find them interesting as much as kind of pathetic. Oh, well. ( )
  jen.e.moore | Jan 2, 2015 |
This tremendously quick read describes life at the East Hampton residence of Edith Beale, aunt of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and her daughter, Little Edie. Lois Wright was a friend and moved into the house for a period of thirteen months. The book is written in a journal style and is quite easy to read. I would recommend seeing the Grey Gardens film first before reading; that way you can hear their voices as you read. Wright does a wonderful job in capturing the essence of the Beales.

I take away one star for typos as well as sentence structure. In the introduction, Wright tells us that she went back later and added things to her journal, and this shows. The "tense" of some of the sentences doesn't match.

That aside, this was a humorous read. Any fan of Grey Gardens and the Beales should add this to their collection! ( )
  briandrewz | Mar 31, 2013 |
It took me the whole book to figure out why in the name of God Lois Wright would stay at Grey Gardens.
Then it hit me. It was the Edies. Plain and simple. ( )
  2percentmilk | Sep 15, 2010 |
I believe I'm beginning to get an unhealthy obsession with the Beales. My friend got me the documentary, Grey Gardens, for Christmas along with this book. I feel something familiar in the Beales.

Lois Wright spent 13 months at Grey Gardens with Big Edie and Little Edie, after having known them for quite a while. This book is basically her journal that she kept while she was there. For background, Big Edie and Little Edie are aunt and cousin, respectively, to Jackie O. They are part of the Bouvier family. Grey Gardens, the Beales house in East Hampton, became famous when the Maysles' did a documentary in 1976 (which is well worth viewing).

Grey Gardens is a run down home and Big Edie and Little Edie are the eccentric recluses that reside within. The home is run down enough that Wright is forced to wear a hat while walking in the house so she won't be hurt when rats or raccoons fall from the walls or ceilings. When, not if. The Beales do not have access to a lot of money so Jackie helps them out whenever possible.

I consider Wright a bit of a twit, myself, but then you would have to be somewhat twittish to live for over a year in Grey Gardens. This book does give you a little more background info than you get from the documentary and includes time surrounding Big Edie's death at age 81.

Read the book and see the movie. Both are pretty much worth the effort. ( )
1 vote manadabomb | Mar 13, 2009 |
This book is never going to have a wide appeal, but amongst those who already know about the Beales of Grey Gardens, it should be essential reading.

For anyone not already in the know, "Big Edie" and "Little Edie" were relatives of Jackie Kennedy Onassis who were the centre of a society scandal when they were found to be living in squalor in Grey Gardens, East Hampton. They were then the subject of a well-regarded documentary "Grey Gardens" by the Maysles brothers. The documentary is a classic of its genre and the two women, but especially the daughter "Little Edie" became cult figures because of it.

This book is by a close friend of the family who lived with them for a time, including during some of the documentary filming. It gives a further insight into their chaotic eccentric lives. It was certainly a strange world and at times on reading it, I felt despair at the way they were living, but at other times it was beautiful and their unique spirits shine through.

Watch the documentary and if you find yourself fascinated by them (as I did) then read this book. Read without prior knowledge, it may not make much sense. ( )
  sanddancer | Oct 23, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lois Wrightprimary authorall editionscalculated
Afram, AndrewForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mroczek, AndrewForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0977746216, Paperback)

Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie, known as Big Edie and Little Edie, were the aunt and cousin of former U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. They led an unconventional existence in Grey Gardens, a mansion in East Hampton. Their home was surrounded by overgrown gardens, and filled with fleas, cats, raccoons, and old cans and rubbish. In 1976, the release of a documentary film also called 'Grey Gardens' highlighted their unique lives among the East Hampton elite, and introduced the Beales to their cult fan following. In 1975, Lois Wright, a fellow artist and dear friend of the Beales, was invited to live with them in Grey Gardens. Wright kept a journal of her thirteen months with the Beales, and using those logs, has developed this book. 'My Life at Grey Gardens' offers the reader an intimate look at the daily lives of the Beales, and chronicles the events from Lois's arrival at the house through the passing of Big Edith Bouvier Beale in 1977.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:36 -0400)

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