living for many years in Rome, he acted in several of Fellini's films, among many others, and through that medium became the bit actor of choice for cross-dressing roles in Italian movies and television. Walter (well edited by Katherine Clark) is a great spinner of anecdotes, particularly concerning some of the celebrated writers and actors of the postwar period. His book is irritating in some ways--because he protests too much, for example, about how Southerners are genetically different from everyone else, how many luminaries he met and how superbly well he threw a party. His favorite characters are old women with a glamorous image (Isak Dinesen, Tallulah Bankhead), and he gushes over them until one wonders how much to believe. Men appear among his many encounters with fame but usually in the periphery of his vision; among his favorites are women of the minor nobility such as Princess Marguerite Caetani, whose literary magazine Botteghe Oscure vied with the Paris Review as an international outlet for up-andcoming artists in the 1950s. Whatever spots Walter may have in his eye, his story, like O'Brien's is a memorably loving, bohemian view of his world. Both memoirs are highly recommended. --Speer Morgan
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
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