Advancing Paul Newman Author:Eleanor Bergstein "This is the story of two girls, each of whom suspected the other of a more passionate connection with life"-the story of Kitsy Frank and Ila Rappaport, whose charged and competitive friendship is run off like a hundred-yard dash through the nineteensixties. — Flinging themselves at experience through a series of love affairs, journeys, marriages... more », careers, and causes, they move from the moral imperative to "really live" to a driving need to change the world; from a risky tour of East Berlin in 1959 (because "you don't run away from a gut reaction") to the idealism and ironies of the Eugene McCarthy Presidential campaign of 1968. Gaining political expertise, they cross the country on a winning streak of tense primary battles, till an assassin's bullet in California shatters their personal adventure and leaves them to piece together the f ragmented meanings of their past.
Advancing Paul Newman is a highly original novel of startling juxtapositions. It captures the experience of an era when the personal became political and the boundaries between public and private life dissolved: erotic moments take their texture from fast-breaking news bulletins, marriages go sour to the music of the Beatles, and a poet suddenly finds himself driving a movie star through Midwestern shopping plazas in an attempt to stop a war in Asia.
It is a novel about heroes-movie stars, poets, candidates, lovers-and the dangerous consequences of heroic intentions.
It is a violent, painful, funny, abundant book, not quite like anything in American fiction before.