20 June 2011

Why Not Say What Happened?

As you know, we at Lucindaville are fond of bold, brazen, and fascinating women. While they make great subjects to read about, the sad truth is many of them were abysmal mothers. One of our favorites is that dangerous muse Caroline Blackwood. Recently, her daughter, Ivana Lowell, wrote her memoir entitled Why Not Say What Happened? What happened was extreme wealth, extreme neglect, sexual abuse, bohemian stepparents, disfigurement, questions of paternity, art, literature, birth, death and Miramax.

For someone who loves biographies, these "memoirs of spurned children" are often tough to read. There is little doubt that a child raised by and alcoholic mother and Robert Lowell as a stepfather might grow up to be a big old alcoholic herself. It's impossible to "name drop" when your family has ties to the Guinness and Tree clans or when your mother was married to Lucien Freud and Robert Lowell and bedded Walker Evans.

No matter how charmed one's life may be or may seem to others, watching your mother die a rather inelegant death is ameliorated by no amount of privilege. Finding out after she dies that your father is not your father adds salt to the wound. In all this tumult, Lowell, draws on her humor which remains in tact.
""They fuck you up, your mum and dad," Philip Larkin wrote. Yes, of course they do; everyone knows that. But it would help to know who your parents are so you can blame the right ones for the fuck up."
One might assume that if she had not kept a modicum of humor, Lowell might well be dead. The fact that she is still with us, is reason enough to read memoir.

Like her mother, Ivana Lowell wrote a cookbook. Check out Cookbook Of The Day for recipes and a juicy Miramax story.


  1. Thank you for this post
    It sounds like a very interesting book and it is so sad to see an alcoholic mother. I plan to read it

  2. Lucinda, thank you for this tour around Caroline Blackwood. I was always aware of her siren qualities
    but I now want to fill in the background. As for Ivana, I seem to remember her being featured in Vogue many years ago as Ivana Citkowitz. All very confusing n'est ce pas.

  3. Awesome book, I never read something as incredible as this article.


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