Honorary Unsubscribe

Randy Cassingham’s Honorary Unsubscribe Recognizes the Unknown, the Forgotten and the Often Obscure People who Had an Impact on Our Lives.
These are the people you will wish you had known.

Literary hotelier

George Whitman

An American, in 1951 Whitman founded a Paris institution: the Left Bank bookstore “Le Mistral”, later renamed (when Sylvia Beach died and willed him rights to the name) “Shakespeare & Co.” The shop was the stopping point for up and coming writers, who Whitman sheltered in exchange for two hours working in the store, a one-page biography, and a photo of themselves. He wouldn’t turn anyone away, “lest they be angels in disguise.” About 50,000 writers — Whitman called them “Tumbleweeds” — took the deal over the years, including Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Durrell, and Anais Nin. Each of the biographies and letters were kept, documenting their life-changing time staying at the shop. In 2006 Whitman was awarded the Officier des Arts et Lettres by the French government for his contribution to the arts. The store is now run by his daughter, Sylvia, who will apparently still welcome the Tumbleweeds. Whitman died in his apartment above the shop on December 14 from complications from a stroke. He was 98.

From This is True for 18 December 2011


Honorary Unsubscribe Books

HU BooksThe Early Writeups from This is True's popular Honorary Unsubscribe feature are now available for your Kindle (or Kindle software for your smartphone, tablet, or computer) as low-cost ebooks.

See details on Volume 1 (covering 1998 through 2000), Volume 2 (2001 through 2003), Volume 3 (2004 through 2006), and Volume 4 (2007 through 2009).

The honorees truly are the people you wish you had known.

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