New Release Books by Sam Wasson

Sam Wasson is the author of The Big Goodbye (2021), Improv Nation (2017), Fosse (2013), Paul on Mazursky (2011), Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. (2011) and , A Splurch in the Kisser (2010).

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The Big Goodbye

release date: Oct 07, 2021

Improv Nation

release date: Dec 05, 2017
Improv Nation
A sweeping yet intimate--and often hilarious--history of a uniquely American art form that has never been more popular

Fosse

release date: Nov 05, 2013
Fosse
Now the FX limited series Fosse/Verdon starring Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams with Lin-Manuel Miranda executive producing. “Wasson is a smart and savvy reporter, and his book abounds with colorful firsthand tales.” — Janet Maslin, New York Times “Fascinating . . . Wasson has taken complete control of his subject.” — Wall Street Journal The only person ever to win Oscar, Emmy, and Tony awards in the same year, Bob Fosse revolutionized nearly every facet of American entertainment. His signature style would influence generations of performing artists. Yet in spite of Fosse’s innumerable—including Cabaret, Pippin, All That Jazz, and Chicago, one of the longest-running Broadway musicals ever—his offstage life was shadowed by deep wounds and insatiable appetites. To craft this richly detailed account, best-selling author Sam Wasson has drawn on a wealth of unpublished material and hundreds of sources: friends, enemies, lovers, and collaborators, many of them speaking publicly about Fosse for the first time. With propulsive energy and stylish prose, Fosse is the definitive biography of one of Broadway and Hollywood’s most complex and dynamic icons. “Spellbinding.” —Entertainment Weekly “Impeccably researched.” —Vanity Fair An NPR Best Book of the Year

Paul on Mazursky

release date: Aug 15, 2011
Paul on Mazursky
Paul Mazursky’s nearly twenty films as writer/director represent Hollywood’s most sustained comic expression of the 1970s and 1980s. But they have not been given their due, perhaps because Mazursky’s films—both sincere and ridiculous, realistic and romantic—are pure emotion. This makes films like Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, An Unmarried Woman, and Enemies, A Love Story difficult to classify, but that’s what makes a human comedy human. In the first ever book-length examination of one of America’s most important and least appreciated filmmakers, Sam Wasson sits down with Mazursky himself to talk about his movies and how he makes them. Going over Mazursky’s oeuvre one film at a time, interviewer and interviewee delve into the director’s life in and out of Hollywood, laughing, talking, and above all else, feeling—like Mazursky’s people always do. The book includes a filmography and never-before-seen photos.

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.

release date: Sep 25, 2011
Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.
Before Breakfast at Tiffany’s Audrey Hepburn was still a little-known actress with few film roles to speak of; after it – indeed, because of it - she was one of the world’s most famous fashion, style and screen icons. It was this film that matched her with Hubert de Givenchy’s “little black dress”. Meanwhile, Truman Capote’s original novel is itself a modern classic selling huge numbers every year, and its high-living author of perennial interest. Now, this little book tells the story of how it all happened: how Audrey got the role (for which at first she wasn’t considered, and which she at first didn’t want); how long it took to get the script right; how it made Blake Edwards’ name as a director after too many trashy films had failed to; and how Henry Mancini’s soundtrack with its memorable signature tune ‘Moon River’ completed the irresistible package. This is the story of how one shy, uncertain, inexperienced young actress was persuaded to take on a role she at first thought too hard-edged and amoral – and how it made Audrey Hepburn into gamine, elusive Holly Golightly in the little black dress - and a star for the rest of her life.

A Splurch in the Kisser

release date: Mar 01, 2010
A Splurch in the Kisser
With one of the longest and most controversial careers in Hollywood history, Blake Edwards is a phoenix of movie directors, full of hubris, ambition, and raving comic chutzpah. His rambunctious filmography remains an artistic force on par with Hollywood''s greatest comic directors: Lubitsch, Sturges, Wilder. Like Wilder, Edwards’s propensity for hilarity is double-helixed with pain, and in films like Breakfast at Tiffany''s, Days of Wine and Roses, and even The Pink Panther, we can hear him off-screen, laughing in the dark. And yet, despite those enormous successes, he was at one time considered a Hollywood villain. After his marriage to Julie Andrews, Edwards’s Darling Lili nearly sunk the both of them and brought Paramount Studios to its knees. Almost overnight, Blake became an industry pariah, which ironically fortified his sense of satire, as he simultaneously fought the Hollywood tide and rode it. Employing keen visual analysis, meticulous research, and troves of interviews and production files, Sam Wasson delivers the first complete account of one of the maddest figures Hollywood has ever known.
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