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Lost Property


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Peek inside one of New York City's grandest homes-that of Benjamin Sonnenberg, Sr., the inventor of modern public relations-in this smart and hilarious memoir of privilege and excess, told by the son of a powerful and seductive man.

About the Author

Ben Sonnenberg (1936-2010) was a playwright, poet, and publisher. In 1981 he started the literary magazine Grand Street, which he edited for nine years. He lived in New York City with his wife, the writer Dorothy Gallagher.


Lost Property stands up to comparison with the great romantic autobiographies, with Stendhal's Life of Henry Brulard and Musset's Confessions of a Child of the Century, with Cyril Connolly's aphoristic The Unquiet Grave and J.R. Ackerley's delicious Hindoo Holiday. Its style is just right: darting, anecdotal, slightly bemused, possessing a lilting irony that makes for compulsive readability. There is also something funny, sexy, or shocking on every page. --Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

"In this wry, clever memoir, . . . Sonnenberg unabashedly chronicles a childhood of spoils coupled with an absence of familial affection, a psychological wound he salved with clothes, books and women. . . . his cleverness shines brightest in self-deprecating jabs." --Connor Goodwin, InsideHook Here is the story . . . of Sonnenberg's passage from sometimes wicked child of privilege to sexual and intellectual errant to bold editor of one of the great journals of our time, Grand Street . . . [Sonnenberg] remains the magical center, the touchstone of what in many ways is the tale of a lover's progress, with its shames and virtues. --JoAnn Wypijewski, The Nation

Lost Property
chronicles the seductions and failures of a self-proclaimed poseur, a brilliant aesthete, and a son who was capable of living his life only after his father's death . . . Sonnenberg's voice is self-deprecating and proud, viciously funny and pained. --Jane Mendelsohn, The Village Voice

Lost Property
reads like a Henry James novel rewritten by Nabokov. Sonnenberg is acutely conscious of his rarity value as a Croesus-rich man of letters and uses his wealth and wealth of reading to indulge his taste for posing. --Susannah Herbert, The Sunday Telegraph

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