Heymann, Clemens Claude 1945-
HEYMANN, Clemens Claude 1945-
(C. David Heymann)
PERSONAL: Born January 14, 1945, in New York, NY; son of Ernest Frederick (a writer) and Renee Kitty (in real estate; maiden name, Vago) Heymann; married Jeanne Ann Lunin (a private school administrator), November 10, 1974 (divorced, 1995); married Rebecca Coughlan, 1995 (divorced, 1996); children: Chloe Colette, Paris Kent Fineberg-Heymann. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Cornell University, B.S., 1966; University of Massachusetts, M.F.A., 1969; doctoral study at state University of New York—Stony Brook, 1976. Politics: Independent.
CAREER: State University of New York—Stony Brook, Stony Brook, lecturer in English, 1969-74; Antioch College—New York Campus, New York, NY, lecturer in English, 1975; writer. American Book Awards, member of panel of judges, 1979-80.
MEMBER: International PEN, Authors Guild, Authors League of America, National Book Critics Circle.
AWARDS, HONORS: Borestone Mountain Poetry Award, 1969; Ezra Pound: The Last Rower and American Aristocracy: The Lives and Times of James Russell, Amy, and Robert Lowell were listed among the most notable books of the year for 1976 and 1980, respectively, by New York Times Book Review; writer's grant from Israeli Government, 1984-85.
UNDER NAME C. DAVID HEYMANN
The Quiet Hours (poetry), Poets' Press, 1968.
Ezra Pound: The Last Rower, Viking (New York, NY), 1976.
American Aristocracy: The Lives and Times of JamesRussell, Amy, and Robert Lowell, Dodd, Mead (New York, NY), 1980.
Poor Little Rich Girl: The Life and Legend of BarbaraHutton, Random House (New York, NY), 1983.
A Woman Named Jackie, Lyle Stuart (Secaucus, NJ), 1989.
Liz: An Intimate Biography of Elizabeth Taylor, Carol Publishing Group (New York, NY), 1995.
RFK: A Candid Biography of Robert F. Kennedy, Dutton (New York, NY), 1998.
The Georgetown Ladies' Social Club: Power, Passion, and Politics in the Nation's Capital, Atria Books (New York, NY), 2003.
Fishing columnist, Diversion. Contributor of articles and reviews to numerous periodicals, including Chicago Tribune,Commentary, Cosmopolitan,Encounter, New Republic,Paris Match, Partisan Review,Redbook, Saturday Review, and Vanity Fair.
ADAPTATIONS: Poor Little Rich Girl: The Life and Legend of Barbara Hutton was adapted for a Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning television miniseries, produced by Lester Persky, broadcast on NBC-TV, 1987; A Woman Named Jackie was adapted for a six-hour television miniseries, produced by Lester Persky and broadcast by NBC-TV; Liz: An Intimate Biography of Elizabeth Taylor was adapted for a five-hour television miniseries, produced by Lester Persky and broadcast by NBC-TV.
SIDELIGHTS: Clemens Claude Heymann's many works of biography include RFK: A Candid Biography of Robert F. Kennedy, which chronicles the life of a man who, had he lived, would probably have become president, and at the very least would have united the Democratic Party. In writing the book, Heymann used more than thirty researchers and interviewers, who delved into Kennedy archives and library collections and gleaned information from Kennedy friends and acquaintances.
Richard Young reviewed RFK in America, noting that the first half of the book is "a carefully researched political biography," while the second "seems to report every bit of sexual gossip about Kennedy, his parents, wife, siblings, and children that has some credibility or a source willing to be quoted."
In The Georgetown Ladies' Social Club: Power, Passion, and Politics in the Nation's Capital, Heymann's subjects are Katharine Graham, Lorraine Cooper, Evangeline Bruce, Sally Quinn, and Pamela Harriman, supported by a cast of others, including John F. Kennedy, Warren Buffett, Ben Bradlee, and Liz Taylor. The five women influenced politics in the latter half of the twentieth century, notably by throwing the parties where their husbands influenced major policy decisions. Heymann interviewed the friends and foes, families, and admirers of the women in writing this anecdotal history that a Publishers Weekly reviewer described as "a winning combination of sex, scandal, and political escapade."
Booklist's Ilene Cooper wrote that Heymann "pulls out all the stops here, and the result is a well-researched, fast-paced, and fascinating look at dinner-party power-broking."
Heymann once told CA: "I detest literary cliques and professional a**-kissing. There are too many writers and too many books and not enough people who read.
There are also too many newspapers and magazines—too many words in the world, floating about on meaningless sheets of paper."
More recently Heymann added: "I fully subscribe to my original contention that there are too many writers and too many words in the universe and too few readers. This contention has been reinforced during the late nineties and early twenty-first century by the overgrowth of cable television networks, radio talk shows, Internet geometrics, million-dollar special cinema-graphic effects, aspiring neighborhood newspapers, and other forms of media confabulations. The nation has been dumbed down to the point where Big Brother's axiom 'War is peace' has not only become the common parlance of the day, but America's guiding principle.
"One of the influencing sources in my ongoing literary career is the political situation that entrenches all of us. Being 'policeman for the world' is indeed a daunting responsibility. This said, I find deplorable the fact that every other book on the New York Times best-seller's list is somehow related to the current political situation. My recent work, The Georgetown Ladies' Social Club: Power, Passion, and Politics in the Nation's Capital, is a chronicle of the women that ran and run Washington, a one-industry town that for all intents and purposes has been historically male-oriented since the birth of Adam. It is a political book, but only tangentially. My true desire in the future would be to write something of a highly personal nature. I would hope that my own experiences would be universal enough so that even a reader living in Kyoto, Japan, could derive some beneficial and vicarious identification. As Ezra Pound once said, 'All ages are contemporaneous,' by which I assume he meant that the very problems that beset the ancient Greeks and Romans—housing, love, government, health, wealth, sustenance, et cetera—are the very problems which dog us today.
"The writers that have influenced my own work include Homer, Pound, Eliot, Hemingway, Conrad, Dickens, Thoreau, Mailer, Capote, Dante, Ovid, Kafka, Rilke, Beckett, Nabokov, Borges, Ginsburg, and Bob Dylan.
"My primary motivation for writing is to have something to do, as I am constitutionally and psychologically unable to do anything else.
"My writing process can be related to Henry Miller's infamous saw: 'A good meal, a good talk, a good f**k, what better way is there to spend a day?' To this I would add 'a good hour at the computer.' I am certain old Henry would wholeheartedly agree. I am the village idiot, the man on the street corner with a basket of pain, dropping tidbits into other people's pockets. The hole in our lives and all the garbage: if only we could fill the holes.
"The mechanics of my writing are unchanged. I sleep, I wake, I write again. Every four years or so, a book gets done."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
America, June 5, 1999, Richard Young, review of RFK:A Candid Biography of Robert F. Kennedy, p. 16.
Booklist, October 15, 2003, Ilene Cooper, review of The Georgetown Ladies' Social Club: Power, Passion, and Politics in the Nation's Capital, p. 385.
Chicago Tribune, May 10, 1989.
Chicago Tribune Book World, September 7, 1980.
Detroit Free Press, May 5, 1989.
Detroit News, May 4, 1989.
Esquire, October, 1984.
Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), June 24, 1989.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2003, review of The Georgetown Ladies' Social Club, p. 1209.
Library Journal, October 15, 2003, Cynthia Harrison, review of The Georgetown Ladies' Social Club, p. 83.
Los Angeles Times, December 9, 1984; May 12, 1989.
New York Review of Books, April 1, 1976.
New York Times Book Review, April 4, 1976; August 3, 1980; May 28, 1989.
Publishers Weekly, November 19, 1979; September 1, 2003, review of The Georgetown Ladies' Social Club, p. 73.
Saturday Review, August 8, 1980.
Time, March 8, 1976.
Washington Post, December 14, 1983; December 20, 1983; December 21, 1983; February 8, 1984; May 31, 1989.
Washington Post Book World, August 10, 1980; December 18, 1983.