TGIF, friends! Our first #FridayReads of the year is THE TASTEMAKER: Carl Van Vechten and the Birth of Modern America by Edward White.
New York City in the early twentieth century was a hotbed of vice and creativity, and the critic, novelist, and photographer Carl Van Vechten was at the center of it all. This juicy biography has already racked up an impressive three starred pre-publication reviews:
“In his immensely entertaining and vivid first book, White tackles the life and times of Carl Van Vechten, one of the most influential figures in American culture in the early 20th century. White’s biography offers absorbing anecdotes and insights into New York society and culture as seen through the life of an ‘archetypal American modernist.’” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
“In orderly chapters, White tackles this complicated, multifaceted, tremendously fascinating and contradictory subject: a married gay man, an alcoholic and always a ‘catalyst for outrage and argument.’ A vigorous, fully fleshed biography of an important contributor to American culture.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“White’s engaging biography adeptly depicts America as a burgeoning cultural powerhouse, one that Van Vechten helped build. A marvelously written, masterful portrait of an exceptionally complex person.” — Booklist, starred review