Why Not Say What Happened?

Why Not Say What Happened? : A Memoir

3.33 (410 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$34.50

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Description

Beautiful, intelligent and wealthy, Ivana Lowell seemed to have it all. Part of the Guinness dynasty, her family were glamorous and well-connected. Her charismatic but spoilt grandmother Maureen had made an excellent marriage with the Lord of Dufferin and Avon and was a leader of the fashionable set in her youth. Her mother, the writer Caroline Blackwood, socialised with the most glitteringly bohemian and high-profile figures of New York and London. Caroline had intense love affairs and was married to the painter Lucian Freud and the talented composer Israel Citkowitz before finally settling down with the poet Robert Lowell. However, being born into the Guinness inheritance was not the blessing that it appeared to be. Ivana's life of glamour and high-living has been marked by tragedy and loss. Like her brilliant but troubled mother, she has been plagued by an addiction to alcohol which took root when she was still a self-conscious schoolgirl. Having survived a childhood accident which left her physically scarred and the instability of a frenetic home life, she is also faced with the discovery of a secret which threatens to undermine her entire past. This frank and witty memoir is both vibrant and sad. It is laced with anecdotes and familiar names from the 1940s to the present, but it is ultimately an account of the relationship between mother and daughter, the story of two women whose deep affection for each other withstands everything that life has to throw at them.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 27.94mm | 566.99g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Illustrations, ports.
  • 0747595062
  • 9780747595069
  • 697,064

Review quote

'Ivana Lowell's memoir is a heartbreaking account of a gifted woman, her brilliant but destructive parents, and a glamorous, aristocratic life that was laced with arsenic. That she survived and now shines as literary force in her own right is apparent from the very first page. Why not Say What Happened? is a tour de force' Amanda Foreman 'Shocking and hilarious, this elegantly lucid memoir by Ivana Lowell is that lethal mix of British aristocracy, giant fortunes, huge freezing houses, beautiful women jagged with sophistication, pedophilia, mysterious paternity, cruelty and yes, cocktails. We are reminded of the plays of Oscar Wilde and novels from Ronald Firbank to Evelyn Waugh as we are introduced to a lively and unlikely mix that includes the Queen Mother and Harvey and Bob Weinstein . I am not making this up. The startling thing is how recent all this and how extreme. Lowell is impressive and touching in sparing us none of this tragi/comedy, least of all herself' Mike Nichols 'An exhilarating roller-coaster ride of a book, full of the sort of wonderfully terrible secrets writers seldom have the guts to tell, let alone with such an assured and beguiling candor-but then of course, Ivana's Irish and a born writer' John Richardson, author of A Life of Picassoshow more

About Ivana Lowell

Ivana Lowell was born in New York. Her childhood was spent between England, Ireland and the U.S. She has worked in the worlds of theatre, publishing and film. She currently lives in New York with her daughter. This is her first book.show more

Rating details

410 ratings
3.33 out of 5 stars
5 11% (46)
4 31% (128)
3 39% (161)
2 16% (66)
1 2% (9)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X