Kaye, Elizabeth 1945-
KAYE, Elizabeth 1945-
PERSONAL: Born March 4, 1945, in Baltimore, MD; daughter of Robert (a pediatrician and professor) and Lynn (a fundraiser and activist; maiden name, Daroff; present surname, Lane) Kaye; married David Gates, April, 1984 (divorced, 1991); married Clive Barnes (a critic). Education: Attended Boston University and Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre. Hobbies and other interests: Ballet, theater, film, gardening, cooking.
ADDRESSES: Home—241 W. 23rd St., New York, NY 10011-2328; fax: 212-691-5603.
AWARDS, HONORS: Alicia Patterson fellow, 1980.
Mid-Life: Notes from the Halfway Mark, Addison-Wesley (Reading, MA), 1995.
Ain't No Tomorrow: Kobe, Shaq, and the Making of a Lakers Dynasty, Contemporary Books (Chicago, IL), 2002.
Contributing editor, Esquire, Rolling Stone, and California, all 1988–.
SIDELIGHTS: Elizabeth Kaye has published three distinctive books that demonstrate her wide range of interests. The first, the memoir Mid-Life: Notes from the Halfway Mark, reflects upon specific changes she experienced in her life as she approached middle age. Her second book is a comprehensive study of ballet in the United States, The American Ballet Theatre: A 25-Year Retrospective; and the third is a detailed examination of the Los Angeles Lakers' basketball team, Ain't No Tomorrow: Kobe, Shaq, and the Making of a Lakers Dynasty.
In Ain't No Tomorrow, Kaye focuses on one particular season of the Los Angeles Lakers, the year after the Lakers won the NBA championship, a year that Wes Lukowsky, writing for Booklist, referred to as "exponentially tougher" than winning the championship. The Lakers had the same material, the same coach, the same players, but the winning spirit that had helped them capture the prize the year before practically evaporated right before their eyes. Kaye's quest was to find out why. "Kaye clearly worked hard," wrote Bill Plaschke in the Los Angeles Times, but he went on to note that, because of the movie-star status of the current players on the Lakers team, there is no sense of the underlying personalities. "We don't know them," wrote Plaschke, "and we never will." Although a deep understanding of the individual players might not have been possible for anyone, Plaschke did concede that Kaye wrote an interesting book. "Parts of the book are great fun," he stated.
Kaye told CA: "I write because nothing seems real to me until and unless I write it down. I also write to try to understand what I think about the various, ongoing stimuli that comprise experience. I am beginning to think my work is chiefly influenced by the combination of (and tension between) my aspirations and my limitations. My writing is inspired by a desire to understand particular experiences that are common to people, such as aging, dying, and loving, and the attempt to understand the experience of people (Rudolf Nureyev would be an example) who have the unique quality I think of as 'otherness,' who therefore live essentially without peers."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 1, 2002, Wes Lukowsky, review of Ain't No Tomorrow: Kobe, Shaq, and the Making of a Lakers Dynasty, p. 1498.
Dance, December, 2000, Merrill Leigh, review of American Ballet Theatre: A 25-Year Retrospective, p. 52.
Independent, April 4, 1997, Ann Treneman, "Memoirs of a Half-Finished Life," pp. S2-S3.
Library Journal, June 15, 2002, John Maxymuk, review of Ain't No Tomorrow, p. 73.
Los Angeles Times, May 19, 2002, Bill Plaschke, review of Ain't No Tomorrow, p. R4.
Spectator, May 3, 1997, Thomas Blaikie, review of Mid Life: Notes from the Halfway Mark, p. 37.