Tuesday, October 2, 2012

First Chapter -- First Paragraph -- Tuesday Intros

Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros. This week's intro is from Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father Cary Grant by Jennifer Grant:

A few years ago, I visited a dear friend of mine, Yehuda Berg for counsel.

'You should write a book about your father.' Right out of the clear blue sky. 'No. I'm too private. 'Well, all right then, write it for yourself, but you need to write.' At home, for my eyes only, I wrote for an hour or so a day. Two days later, my friend Mark Teitelbaum called. 'Hey, I just got back from New York. Met with a literary agent there about some stuff, have you ever considered?' 'NO!' Damn it twice in a week. Once I could ignore. But two people, both recommending I write a book about Dad. That same week I was asked if I'd do a television special on Dad. Hmm . . . Okay . . . here's my out. Maybe spending the next few years of my life delving and examining isn't necessary. I weighed the proposed television tribute. Alas, where Dad is concerned, it's all or nothing for me. The privacy policy won out. No to the show. But for the first time, the possibility of a tribute lingered. The idea of writing . . . . The moment my lips uttered no, my heart knew yes. Something about all that Dad gave me. I wrote every morning for a month.

In my father's later years he asked me several times that I remember him the way I knew him. He said after his death, people would talk. They would say things about him and he wouldn't be there to defend himself. He beseechingly requested that I stick to what I knew to be true, because I truly knew him. I promised him I would. I've easily kept my oath. Although many books about him have been published, I've read none. Not out of lack of interest. I'm sure there are some wonderful things I could learn about my father, but most likely more misconceptions than are worth weeding through. To me, he was like a marvelous painting. All the art historians wish to break down the motives, and the scheme, and so on. I would rather know, as I do, his essence. I believe that at the heart of a person lies passion. For the last twenty years of his life, I was given the extraordinary privilege to experience the full, vital passion of his heart. Dad used the expression 'good stuff' to declare happiness or, as his friends put it, he said it when pleased with the nature of things. He said it a lot. He had a happy way of life. His life was 'good stuff.'


  1. I like this opening. It lets you know that it's a book about the man she knew, her father, not necessarily the public's version of him.

  2. I really like this intro, even though it is probably not a book I will read. It seems like one that will keep the reader engaged.

    Thanks for joining in:)

  3. This sounds like a memoir with good memories.