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Baskerville Publishers has released several exceptional new titles, which are available now at a discount when you buy at our online bookstore.

8 Voices: Contemporary Poetry from the American Southwest

Baskerville Publishers is pleased to announce the release of 8 Voices: Contemporary Poetry of the American Southwest.

Eight poets were selected whose work clearly demonstrates that the contemporary poetry of the southwest moves far beyond the “regional,” dealing with the universal themes of all good poetry, while not losing a sense of place.  Tom Sleigh writes of the book, “…these poems are wonderfully idiosyncratic voices as cosmopolitan as they are rooted in what Seamus Heaney once called ‘the music of what happens’…  The region that unites them is the republic of memorable speech.”

Dan Williams, Director of the TCU Press, who was the editor of 8 Voices, concludes his introduction, “I have gained much becoming acquainted with the poems included in this volume, and I feel privileged to have read and selected them.  I believe anyone who picks up this volume will feel the same.”

Baskerville Publishers’ books have won two awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. We published the first book in English on the life of Joseph Brodsky, and brought Australian classical poet Stephen Edgar’s poetry to the attention of discriminating American readers. We are proud to add 8 Voices to this distinguished list.

From the Introduction by Dan Williams, Editor

When a volume of poetry that purported to show the wide range and depth of  contemporary Southwestern poetry was proposed, I was happy to participate as editor. Though some poets of the region focus on artifacts and history of the southwest, many do not. It was my task to select 15 poems from each poet out of half a hundred which had been submitted. We wanted a selection which would show the broad range referenced above.

When reading their submissions, I experienced some of those powerful moments Dickinson defined as poetry. I felt deeply moved, even shaken as though the top of my head had been taken off. At times so powerfully moved that I was in two places at one time, both in my comfortable chair, and in a strange, striking place where the poet had transported me. To read this poetry is to be constantly shifted from the ordinary into the extraordinary.

This volume of poetry challenges the common expectations of many readers, as it demonstrates definitively that there is more to Southwestern poetry than wild horses, branding irons, arrowheads, and creaking windmills. I feel privileged to have read and lived with these poems during this process. I have gained much. And I believe that anyone who picks up the volume will feel the same.

Praise for 8 Voices

Though the poets in this book all hail from the southwest, what you’ll hear in these poems are wonderfully idiosyncratic voices as cosmopolitan as they are rooted in what Seamus Heaney once called “the music of what happens.” The poems are cleanly written, replete with what Robert Frost called “a good look, and a good listen.” The region that unites them is the republic of memorable speech.

— Tom Sleigh, Senior Poet and Distinguished Professor, Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY)

These eight distinguished southwestern poets have important things to say, and they say them extraordinarily well. Here are poems about landscapes both familiar and foreign, childhood, young (and old) love, friendship, regret, loss, old age, sickness, and death, as well as about the miracle of poetry itself… poems you will want to read, and reread, savoring them for years to come.

— Michael McGaha, Yale B. and Lucille D. Griffith Professor of Modern Languages (Emeritus), Pomona College

The poets of 8 Voices transform the details encountered in everyday life into playful poetic landscapes that vibrate with a refreshing sense of humor. Playfulness in the juxtaposition of incongruous objects and situations create soundscapes that transfer the familiar into the charm of the unfamiliar and mysterious. These poets recreate the pulse of the earth as they live inside the movements of words.

— Rainer Schulte, Professor of Humanities & Fine Arts, UT Dallas, Director of the Center for Translation Studies, and Editor of Translation Review

About the Poets

  • Gary Swaim: widely-published poet, produced playwright, published fiction writer, and digital painter, received his A.B. in English from the University of California, Riverside and his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Philosophy from the University of Redlands and Claremont Graduate University. Currently, a faculty member in the Master of Liberal Studies program at Southern Methodist University, he has taught broadly across the United States, and is the founding Executive Editor of Pony Express(ions), an online literary journal for S.M.U. Dr. Swaim is a Minnie-Stevens Piper Professor of Excellence for the state of Texas.
  • Nathan Brown: a musician, photographer and award-winning poet from Norman, Oklahoma. He holds a PhD from the University of Oklahoma, but mostly travels now, performing readings and concerts, as well as leading workshops and speaking on creativity and the need for readers to not give up on poetry. He’s published eight books. Karma Crisis: New and Selected Poems came out this spring. And a previous book, Two Tables Over, won the 2009 Oklahoma Book Award.
  • Karla K. Morton: the 2010 Texas Poet Laureate, is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters and graduate of Texas A&M University. Described as “one of the most adventurous voices in American poetry,” she is a Betsy Colquitt Award Winner, twice an Indie National Book Award Winner, and the author of seven books of poetry.
  • Jeffrey DeLotto: Professor of English at Texas Wesleyan University, teaches writing and British literature. He has also taught writing and literature at Texas Tech University, at Yarmouk University (in Jordan), and as a Fulbright Lecturer in Bulgaria. His books include Voices at the Door , Days of a Chameleon: Collected Poems, and Voices Writ in Sand: Dramatic Monologues and Other Poems. His poems, essays and stories have appeared in numerous magazines, journals and anthologies.
  • Tony Mares: born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, educated in local schools, went on to university courses and completed a doctorate in European history. However, beginning in his early to mid-twenties, poetry became the real focus of his attention. Over the years, he published several books of poetry and his poems have appeared in numerous venues. He also has one book of translations of the poems of the Asturian poet, Ángel González.
  • Alan Birkelbach: the 2005 Texas Poet Laureate, is the author of nine books of poetry. He is a winner of the 2010 North Texas Book Festival Award, two-time presenter at the Texas Book Festival, a Spur, Wrangler, Pushcart, and TIL Children’s Book award nominee, and a finalist in the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. He is a native Texan.
  • Elizabeth Raby: author of three full-length poetry collections and four chapbooks.Her poems have been translated into Romanian and she is co-author of a Romanian/English chapbook, Oase, Carne, & Blana (Bone, Flesh & Fur.) Winner of the 2010 Elmer Kelton Award, Angelo State University,she has been nominated several times for the Pushcart. A graduate of Vassar College (B.A.) and Temple University (M.A., Creative Writing), Ms. Raby has lived in Santa Fe, NM since 2000.
  • Ronald Moore: a composer, adventurer (103 countries), and human rights activist with a strong interest in Tibetan freedom. He was a health care executive for 30 years. Moore has a BA in Philosophy and an MBA in Finance from TCU. He has one book of poetry, Alterity (Current Press) and has been published in Descant and elsewhere. He has two sons and lives in Fort Worth, Texas.


8 Voices: Details

6 x 9 hardcover, 146 pages, ISBN: 978-1880909-79-9


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The Red Sea: New & Selected Poems ~ By Stephen Edgar

Stephen Edgar is well known as a poet in his home country of Australia. He has published seven collections of poetry, for which he has won several prestigious awards, yet he is hardly known outside his country. The commercial difficulty of exporting books of poetry (read: no profit margin) has precluded Americans and Europeans from reading him except in magazine reviews. This book intends to correct that deficit by presenting new poetry and selections from his earlier work, all previously unavailable in the United States or Europe.

Born in Sydney, Stephen Edgar has also lived in London and Tasmania, where he studied Classics and Librarianship before returning to Sydney in 2005. Clive James was so taken with Edgar’s poetry that he flew to Australia to meet him for lunch and their conversation continued into the dusk. It is unusual for a single poem to receive an analytical treatment in a monthly poetry magazine, yet James wrote such an essay in POETRY in January of 2009 on the poem “Man on the Moon” (included in this book). James says at the end of the article, “…his work participates in a new classicism, fit to incorporate in the modern world, in which it deserves a high place. Almost any of his poems will tell us that on a first reading. The second reading tells us why we should try to tell everyone else.”

Baskerville Publishers’ books have won two awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. We published the first book in English on the life of Joseph Brodsky, and we are equally proud to bring Stephen Edgar’s poetry to the attention of discriminating American readers (and, hopefully, soon to those across the pond). Please note that we have retained all Australian usages.

Edgar is a consummate craftsman, a new classicist. As Clive James said, “Models of plain speech even at their most eloquent, his poems are more sheerly beautiful from moment to moment than those of any other modern poet I can think of.”

This is magisterial poetry.

Praise for Stephen Edgar

“I can’t think of anyone writing poetry in English, at the moment or recently, who renders the natural world with the voluptuous precision of Stephen Edgar. These are poems of elegance and depth.” — August Kleinzahler

“I’d think that Edgar must be on the short list of the best living practitioners of verse, rhymed or blank. His remarkable poems have been a highly rewarding discovery for me.” — Joshua Mehigan

“…he achieves, overall, a supple classicism that earns him a place next to the best twentieth-century American formalists.” — D.H. Tracy

The Red Sea: New & Selected Poems by Stephen Edgar

5.5 x 8.5 hardcover, 112 pages, available April 2012 from Baskerville Publishers.


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George London: Of Gods and Demons ~ by Nora London

George London combined a great voice, superb musicianship, and a commanding stage presence as few singers ever have. Written by his wife, Nora London, this new biography chronicles the life of a talented, driven man who fell in love with opera as a boy, and achieved greatness not only in America, but also all over the world. Yet the book does not shy away from the difficulties of his youth, the troubles with his voice that ended his singing career prematurely, nor his tragic last years.

When George London could no longer sing, he committed himself with the same complete devotion to involvement with several opera organizations. In particular, remembering his own early struggles, he instituted grant programs that assisted promising singers who continue to grace the stages of the most important opera houses. This is the story of an exemplary life and career well told by the person who knew him best.

George London: Of Gods and Demons

Number Nine in Baskerville’s Great Voices series, the book includes a music CD with rare live recordings of George London. In addition there are 24 pages of photographs, many previously unseen. The chronology and discography are definitive and there is an index of names.

6×9 hardcover, 225 pages + Discography + 24 pages of photos

Includes a music CD featuring rare recordings of live performances

Praise for George London

“George London’s career was indeed meteoric and deservedly so.” – from the introduction by H. C. Robbins Landon

“…The greatest singing actor of our time.” – Virgil Thompson

About the Author: Nora London

Nora London is the president of the George London Foundation for Singers, which gives annual awards in excess of $50,000 to opera singers in the early stages of their careers. She is honorary president of the George London – Stiftung, a Viennese Foundation that helps young singers. She has written many articles about London’s performances, and about opera competitions and career development for singers. This is her second book.

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Rise Stevens: A Life in Music ~ by John Pennino

Risë Stevens was a force of nature on the stage. From her humble beginnings in New York, Stevens’ talent, determination and heart helped her rise up to perform on the greatest stages all over the world. Whether she was on the radio, television, the silver screen, or stunning audiences at the Met, her vocal presence was unforgettable. In Carmen, Risë Stevens ascended to the level of legendary performers.

Risë Stevens: A Life in Music

In this tenth addition to our Great Voices series, the life and career of another of opera’s great talents, Risë Stevens, is chronicled to be shared with all. Stevens was a star who will always be one of our “great voices.” The author, John Pennino, has taken special care to document her amazing life, struggles and achievements. Included in this biography are 48 pages of photographs, a detailed chronology, discography, and a music CD featuring rare recordings.

6×9 hardcover, 342 pages + dDiscography + 48 pages of photos

Includes a music CD featuring rare recordings of live performances

Praise for Risë Stevens

“Readers of Risë’s biography can be assured that the account they are about to enjoy will be accurate, well-documented, perceptive and entertaining.” – Astrid Varnay

“She did not merely step into the part and give a carbon copy of hundreds of Carmens before her. She gave all parts of it her careful consideration.” – Jo Mottola

About the Author: John Pennino

Opera has been a lifelong interest for John Pennino. With professional musicians in his family, John was surrounded by the classics both symphonic and operatic. Music literature was plentiful at his home, with Pennino’s father being an amateur pianist. He was taken to his first “live” opera as a child – Carmen with Risë Stevens. John Pennino continues to live and work in New York City.

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Tebaldi: The Voice of an Angel (Revised 2nd Edition) ~ by Carlamaria Casanova

The passing of the great soprano, Renata Tebaldi, has occasioned the release of an enhanced edition of her biography. Additional information about her life, letters, reminiscences by many of her colleagues, and honors she received are included. Also of interest to collectors are 16 pages of new photographs.

The Definitive Biography of Renata Tebaldi

Though Ms. Casanova has written an authorized biography, Renata Tebaldi is amply quoted in it being most frank about herself and her colleagues. Her essentially loving and tolerant nature provides a ready explanation for her being cast in the role of an “angel” by 1950s newspapers, where she was pitted against the “devil,” Maria Callas. Those who remember Tebaldi’s soaring, sustained pianissimi may feel her status as one of heaven’s most beloved messengers was never challenged.

Though Callas gave stunning performances, surely one of the reasons Renata Tebaldi reigned as the world’s greatest soprano for much of her thirty-year career was her ability to create characters. As she analyzes her performances many who saw her will remember the subtly shaded but authoritative way she embodied her roles, even Cio Cio San, despite her imposing height.

Along with a full accounting of the famous Tebaldi-Callas feud, this book contains warm and revealing recollections of other temperamental stars like Del Monaco and Di Stefano. A ravishingly beautiful woman, there was yet an inate dignity and warmth in Renata Tebaldi that account for the fact that she remains, some twenty years after her retirement, the best-loved of all the divas, and perhaps the closest to the standards of the Golden Age in her unforced, sweetly tragic tone, not to mention her perfect record of service to high art, unerring taste and unfeigned humility. If this book is in homage, so be it; no amount of words or awards could reciprocate the blessings that Renata Tebaldi bestowed upon the world.

“A colorful essay… Revealing accounts of matters Ms. Tebaldi has seldom discussed in public.” – Opera Canada

Tebaldi: The Voice of an Angel

Number two in Baskerville’s Great Voices series, the expanded biography includes a music CD with choice recordings of Renata Tebaldi. In addition, there are 72 pages of photographs and a discography.

6×9 hardcover, 281 pages + discography + 72 pages of photos + music CD

Biography by Carlamaria Casanova, revised and expanded second edition, with reflections by Connie Mandracchia DeCaro.

About the Author: Carlamaria Casanova

Born in Monza, Italy, Carlamaria Casanova has always been part of the world of opera. In the field of music she has published Renata Tebaldi: The voice of an Angel (four reprints, translated into French, English, and Russian); Gabriella Cohen, la ballerina, il personaggio; and Cesare Bardelli, il principe dei baritone.

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Corelli: A Man, a Voice (Revised 2nd Edition) ~ by Marina Boagno

Following Franco Corelli’s unfortunate death, this book has been completely rewritten, revised, and expanded.

Unrivaled in his time as Caruso was before him, yet unlike his great predecessor, Franco Corelli lived an ascetic life away from the theatre, pushing himself relentlessly to gain complete mastery of his voice, again and again reaching new frontiers of technical virtuosity.

In this biography, Marina Boagno clears up the mysteries and misunderstandings that arose throughout Franco Corelli’s career, revealing much about the man along the way. This book and the record it encloses are a frank celebration of a voice that defined a period of operatic history, a voice that will always be an inspiration to people who love singing or want to sing themselves — and of a man who lived his life for art, whose example is another important aspect of his legacy.

Corelli: A Man, a Voice (Revised Second Edition), a Biography of Franco Corelli by Marina Boagno

Number five in Baskerville’s Great Voices series, the volume contains a CD with rare live recordings of Franco Corelli. In addition, there are 80 pages of photographs and a chronology and discography.

6×9 Hardcover. 306 pages + Discography + 80 pages of photos + CD

Includes an audio CD featuring rare recordings of live performances

Praise for Franco Corelli

“His voice, with that beauty and security singing the highest notes has always had a tremendous effect on me… It was such a marvelous thing. And in order to do it, a tenor with a voice so big and powerful, it means that besides having great qualities, he has worked very hard. Therefore, I have the greatest respect for him.” – MIRELLA FRENI

“He was fantastic, because in every note that he sang one heard passion and suffering, which are the same thing, because passion is full of suffering… I wish I could have seen Corelli just once on stage. When they say class, that was class. When they say voice, that was a voice.” – GRACE BUMBRY

About the Author: Marina Boagno

Marina Boagno was born in the industrial city of Savona (not far from Genoa). A graduate of Genoa University in political science and history as well as a triple laureate in language, literature and poetry, she has written and published a bigrophy of Ettore Bastianini (Azzali) and is presently writing another on Nicolai Ghiaurov. In addition she has published several novels and is an English translator for Mondadori. She lives in Milan with her two grown sons.

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Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy (2nd Edition) ~ by Armando Cesari, Preface by Placido Domingo

This biography tells the story of one of the most naturally gifted singers of the 20th century, Mario Lanza. This great performer was destined to become an operatic superstar, but his involvement with Hollywood, and the resultant fame and mass adulation that followed, led him to become increasingly insecure and guilt-ridden for having prostituted his talent commercially. After his meteoric rise to stardom, Lanza ended up both ill and a virtual alcoholic, and due to medical incompetence his life came to a tragic end in a Rome clinic at the age of 38.

The Definitive Biography of Mario Lanza

The book is the result of a lifetime study of Mario Lanza, and of research carried out in the US and Europe over a period of thirty years. During this time most of Lanza’s important associates, fellow artists and personalities of the film and music world were interviewed. Pulling no punches — yet eschewing the sensationalistic aspects of previous Lanza biographies — the book examines and dispels the false myths that emerged during Mario Lanza’s short but turbulent career, and which have lingered to the present day. It is the only accurate and complete biography of Lanza written to date, and will therefore be of interest not only to his admirers, but above all to everyone who desires to read a true account of the singer’s life.

Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy (2nd Edition)

Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy is the seventh title in Baskerville’s Great Voices series, chronicling the lives and work of the most accomplished singers in opera.

293 pages + discography + 125 pages of photos

Includes an exclusive music CD featuring recordings of live performances and other rarities from 1945 to 1958

Critical Acclaim for Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy

“Cesari poignantly tells the tragic story of a beautiful voice… writes with great love and includes a CD of selected performances, more than 250 photographs and complete listings of Lanza’s recordings, films and other performances.” – ALA Booklist, Jan. 2004

Preface by Placido Domingo

Any book that sheds light on the phenomenon named Mario Lanza is of importance. I call Mario Lanza a phenomenon advisedly, because his place in music history has always been controversial. Let us ignore the typical Hollywood hype which was inflicted on any star performer under the old studio system. What remains to this day as the essence of his persona is, to my mind, one of the truly great natural tenor voices of the past century — a voice of beauty, passion and power! The voice communicated to millions all over the world and I venture to say that his films did more to lure the general public to the art form of operatic singing than the voice of almost any other performer before his time. Of course the cinematic medium was a prime factor in this achievement, because a film reaches so many millions. BUT, and I spell this “but” with capital letters, that is no guarantee that the public will be spellbound, because there are film performers whom the public simply ignores. There was a visceral quality to the Lanza voice which even to this day — on reviewing the old films or relistening to the old recordings—grabs one with astonishing force.

Many people in the classical music world refused to recognize him and actually belittled not only his impact on the public but his God-given voice. As I write this, I have before me the 1980 edition of Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians. There are five entries under the name of “Lanza” — Francesco Giuseppe Lanza, a composer and singing teacher who lived from 1750 to 1812, and three of his sons, all of them composers and teachers; the fifth entry is Alcides Lanza, Argentinian composer, conductor and pianist who was born in 1928. This is merely one example of him being dismissed by the musicological fraternity. Several years ago I was interviewed on a television program that dealt with Lanza. Afterward I received letters from a number of well-meaning musicologists who took me to task for “defending Mario Lanza.” What these people didn’t recognize, or didn’t want to recognize, is that I made no references to his personal life, his behaviour or his troubles, but purely to his voice — a voice which, incidentally, not only made an impact on me, but also on many of my tenor colleagues, like Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras.

Why was there this antagonism? Was it because some people felt that success had come too easily to him — that he hadn’t “suffered” for his art — or was it jealousy that someone who wasn’t very sophisticated, academically speaking, could become such an effective “pied piper” for leading the uninitiated to the allure of the operatic voice?

As so often happens with time, attitudes change. The fact that we are still interested in his movies and recordings and that this book has been written proves that the persona of Mario Lanza has survived the test of time and that his voice remains a force of nature to this day.

Praise for Mario Lanza

“Yours is a voice such as is heard only once in a hundred years.” – Serge Koussevitzky

“You have the greatest given throat ever heard in a young man.” – Tito Schipa

“Mario Lanza has the greatest singing instrument ever bestowed on a human being.” –George London

“Mario could have sung in any opera house in the world and his career could have been sensational.” – Dorothy Kirsten

“I don’t think he realised how good he was.” – Giuseppe Di Stefano 

“He had everything that one needs- the voice, the temperament, perfect diction.” – Licia Albanese

“Lanza has the finest natural tenor voice I’ve ever heard.” – Renata Tebaldi

“In fifty years people will recognise Lanza for the great artist he is.” – Lawrence Tibbett (in 1950)

“His voice is phenomenal.” – Helen Traubel

“Mario Lanza’s singing was both convincing and full of heart.” – Franco Corelli

“He is Caruso’s successor.” – Maria Callas

“He had a voice of enormous dramatic impact.” – Placido Domingo

“His magnificent voice enriched our lives and introduced us to a wide spectrum of classical and popular music.” – José Carreras

“He had a fantastic voice–not just wonderful–a fantastic voice.” – Luciano Pavarotti

“We were both surprised by the size of the voice–we were also impressed by Lanza’s innate musicality. No doubt he could have had an outstanding operatic career.” – Richard Bonynge and Joan Sutherland

About the Author: Armando Cesari

Armando Cesari was born in Venice, Italy. After migrating to Australia and completing his senior studies Mr. Cesari studied classical singing and voice production and subsequently sang in a number of concerts in Australia.

Mr. Cesari has made a lifelong study of the career of Mario Lanza and is considered a leading authority on the singer. He has contributed to a number of radio and television programs and has written articles on Lanza as well as various opera singers.

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Samuel Ramey: American Bass ~ by Jane Scovell

From Colby, Kansas, where a coach once tried to convince his father that his son should concentrate on sports, Samuel Ramey found his way to Grand Opera. Starting out in secondary roles at the New York City Opera Company, Samuel Ramey rose from its ranks and went on to stardom in the major opera houses of the world. He dominated the European stages with his unique blend of musicality, masculinity, and dramatic virtuosity.

Here, at last, was a bass with the range and versatility to sing everything from Baroque operas to Broadway melodies. Most amazing of all was his vocal agility in the heart-stopping bel canto repertoire. Despite worldwide fame, Sam Ramey has never changed: He remains a warm, well-grounded Midwesterner.

Although he reached superstar status abroad, it took more than a decade for the Metropolitan Opera to open its doors to him. Their David-and-Goliath standoff is only a part of the engrossing and entertaining saga of a beloved American singer.

Samuel Ramey: American Bass

Number eleven in Baskerville’s Great Voices series, chronicling the lives and work of the most accomplished singers in opera, the book includes a music CD with recordings of Ramey. In addition there are 80 pages of photographs, and an intriguing “Sound Bites” section by Samuel Ramey himself. The chronology and discography are definitive and there is an index of names.

6×9 Hardcover: 278 pages + Discography + 80 pages of photos + music CD

Praise for Samuel Ramey

“…It is my opinion that Assur’s mad scene, which runs nearly twenty-five minutes, contains the opera’s greatest music. Everything is packed into it, including exciting coloratura, dramatic recitative, and gorgeous cantilena. I loved the way Sam did it. I loved it so much that whenever we performed Semiramide, I would stand in the wings during his mad scene just to hear him.” – From the preface by Marilyn Horne

About the Author: Jane Scovell

Jane Scovell has co-authored books with Marilyn Horne, Elizabeth Taylor, Ginger Rogers, Maureen Stapleton and Kitty Dukakis. She is the author of Oona: Living in the Shadows, a biography of Oona O’Neill Chaplin.

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