Wintle, Edwin John 1963(?)–
Wintle, Edwin John 1963(?)–
PERSONAL: Born c. 1963.
CAREER: Actor and lawyer; Curtis Brown Ltd., New York, NY, film agent, 1998–.
Breakfast with Tiffany: An Uncle's Memoir, Miramax Books (New York, NY), 2005.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A novel.
SIDELIGHTS: Edwin John Wintle started his career as an actor and lawyer before he finally settled into a job as a film agent for New York City-based Curtis Brown, Ltd. He decided to become an author when he had the idea to write a memoir chronicling his experiences with his then-thirteen-year-old niece, who had moved into his New York City apartment. The move came after Wintle visited his newly divorced sister and her two daughters in Connecticut, only to find that his sister was at a loss as to how to handle Tiffany, a "wild child" who had been skipping school and was failing her classes. Wintle agreed to take Tiffany in, and his niece showed up with a hangover a week later. Breakfast with Tiffany: An Uncle's Memoir tells of Wintle's experiences in raising the troubled teenager, from dealing with her drug use to setting parameters about sexual conduct, school, the people she spent her time with, and her home life. What makes Wintle's situation more difficult is that he himself is a single, gay man. This put him in the position of having to maintain a double standard about what was acceptable relationship behavior for his niece versus for himself as an adult. The book also addresses Wintle's relationships with other family members, as well as Tiffany's own hopes and dreams, which are illustrated through snippets of her letters and poems.
Wintle allowed himself to be open and honest in the writing of his book. In an interview for Bookslut.com, he explained: "One of the stories in the book is the ripping open of my heart, which is a journey toward vulnerability. The whole thing was about having this teenager come to me and turn me inside-out. In the book I mention that I feel like I'm a bundle of jagged nerves, I'm an open wound. So, if anything, it was trying to do the opposite, it was trying to keep a lid on some of the vulnerability. I felt vulnerable the entire time writing the memoir, because I was going inward, I was plumbing the depths of my past, journey, and struggles." An Observer contributor noted that "Wintle is strongest when nailing the blindingly cavalier self-confidence of teen tyranny. He's trying to protect Tiffany but, running on hormone overload and ricocheting between unexpected sweetness and uncontrollable fury, she considers him to be a control freak." A contributor for Publishers Weekly wrote of the end result that "the lighthearted tone makes a serious subject amusing, and Wintle is charmingly self-deprecating." Michelle Green similarly remarked in People that the author's "dead-on wit sparks the narrative, and his neurotic but creative approach to child-rearing is bracing." A contributor for Entertainment Weekly recommended the book as "one of the most unconventional—and heartwarming—parenting guides ever."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Wintle, Edwin John, Breakfast with Tiffany: An Uncle's Memoir, Miramax Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Daily Variety, November 7, 2003, David Rooney, "Breakfast at Miramax," p. 1.
Entertainment Weekly, June 17, 2005, Tina Jordan, review of Breakfast with Tiffany, p. 87; June 24, 2005, review of Breakfast with Tiffany, p. 127.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2005, review of Breakfast with Tiffany, p. 531.
People, June 27, 2005, Michelle Green, review of Breakfast with Tiffany, p. 47.
Publishers Weekly, April 25, 2005, review of Breakfast with Tiffany, p. 48.
Beatrice.com, http://www.beatrice.com/ (October 25, 2005), "Edwin John Wintle."
Bookslut.com, http://www.bookslut.com/ (October 25, 2005), "Edwin John Wintle."
Edwin John Wintle Home page, http://www.edwinjohnwintle.com (October 25, 2005).
Observer Online, http://www.observer.co.uk/ (October 25, 2005), "Edwin John Wintle."