Picks and Pans Review: Life as a Party
by Tina Brown
Brown has the uncanny knack of sizing up the glitterati in one deliciously wicked sentence. For example, Mick Jagger's twangy Texas gal, Jerry Hall "has snaggle teeth, and size 9 feet and the face of a Grand National winner, but once behind the camera she becomes the ultimate prairie rose." Former editor of Britain's sassy Tatler magazine and now editor of this country's Vanity Fair, Brown knows a good pun when she sees one too; one piece in this hilariously bitchy collection from her Tatler days, about the Scottish thane (or lord) of Cawdor, is titled "There Is Nothing Like a Thane." American readers may not be able to identify many of Brown's British subjects (or is it victims?). Still, some names—Princess Di, Koo Stark, Catherine Deneuve—are familiar enough. Then there's Princess Caroline, whom Brown found to be a "low-key, serious young woman isolated near the palace in a blush pink house that is scattered with brainy books and expensive shoes." Brown also writes about her tour of duty as a "royalty expert" for NBC's Today show during the royal wedding. During a commercial break, she writes, anchor Tom Brokaw suggested, "Let's talk about the size of Lady Diana's feet. I mean, she's got gunboats down there." We are not talking soul of discretion here; Beautiful People on this side of the Atlantic take note. (David & Charles, Inc., North Pomfret, Vt. 05053; $13.95)
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