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On the Wing

A Young American Abroad

List Price: $15.95

June 11, 2002 | Paperback |  5.2 x 8, 224 Pages | ISBN 9781582432144
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"...Sayre is a charming raconteur with a light comic touch..." —Kirkus

Vivid, immediate, irreverent, a marvelous memoir of a young woman’s coming-of-age in Europe during the fifties. On the Wing is a wry, entertaining, deliciously gossipy account of a young woman in Europe during the fifties, and of those famous — and infamous — people who became her friends and confidants. More than a memoir, it is also a portrait of a group of people (actors, writers, filmmakers, and others, both American and foreign) unlike any others in a time unlike any other. Told with wit and charm, On the Wing is a story of elegance, exactness, and exciting adventure.
About Nora Sayre

NORA SAYRE is a former film critic for the New York Times and a frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review. Her first book, Sixties Going on Seventies, was a finalist for the 1974 National Book Award. She teaches at Columbia University and lives in New York City.


“With elegance and panache, Sayre tells of her years in London during the second half of the 1950s, when she was 22 and looking for experience to use in a writing career… As a child in America, she was largely unconscious of WWII, but in England, it was impossible to ignore its Cold War legacy. As she gains insight to the private Koestler, for example, she more keenly appreciates the relationship between his post-Communist indictments of Stalin’s regime and his misogyny. But this is not a dark book; in fact, Sayre dislikes the tendency among memoirists to be ‘wretched,’ spewing ‘buckets of boohoo.’ Instead, she presents an entertaining and fluent coming-of-age story that will delight literary enthusiasts both young and old.” —Publishers Weekly

“Continuing her trademark perceptive cultural analysis, Sayre’s memoir of her five years abroad in London brims with literary figures and movie stars.” —Booklist

“…Sayre is a charming raconteur with a light comic touch…” —Kirkus

“A very good book. I read it with great pleasure: in fact, it was difficult to put down.” —Louis Begley, author of Matters of Honor

“If Sayre’s eye is sharp, it is also forgiving. She brings to every encounter a curious mind and a wise heart.” —Frances Kiernan, author of Seeing Mary Plain: A Life of Mary McCarthy

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