Clifton Fadiman was one of my boyhood idols. I admired him-to my young mind he epitomized wisdom and savoir faire. He was quick and witty and so very erudite. I hadn't thought about him in years. Then last summer an advance copy of a memoir crossed my desk. It was a book by Anne Fadiman, Clifton's daughter, and the book is mostly about her relationship with him. I was intrigued and I immediately contacted her publicist to request an interview with the author upon the publication of her book.
"The Wine Lover's Daughter" reveals the story of a man who completely reinvented himself. Ann's dad had grown up in less than ideal conditions. The lad aspired to better himself. He read constantly and his studious nature paid off when he gained admission to Columbia University. After college he had more good luck when he gained entry into the world of publishing. Fadiman was on his way to a career in which he became a star. He hosted one of the most popular radio programs of the era and became a highly regarded critic.
His daughter recounts how her father began his life-long love affair with fine wines, a passion which seems to have eluded her. This memoir is informative, entertaining, and beautifully written. I had wanted to interview Ann Fadiman for years so it was an absolute delight to converse with her on a subject that has always fascinated me; her dad.
The Book Nook on WYSO is made possible by five local library systems in southwest Ohio: the Greene County Public Library, Washington-Centerville Public Library, Clark County Public Library, Dayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.