Jesse Green is the co-chief theater critic for The New York Times. From 2013 to 2017 he was the theater critic for New York magazine, where he had also been a contributing editor, writing long-form features, since 2008. Before that he wrote about theater and culture for the Arts & Leisure section of The Times while covering broader subjects for the Times Magazine.
SHY: The Autobiography of Mary Rodgers Guettel
Richard Rodgers was perhaps the greatest composer in the history of American musical theater. Adam Guettel is the light of a new generation extending and reinventing that tradition. At their intersection stands Mary Rodgers Guettel: Rodgers’s daughter, Guettel’s mother, a noted composer, author, and arts doyenne in her own right and the sharpest tongue in show biz.
More than just a unique witness to the flowering of everything from Oklahoma! to The Light in the Piazza (with her own Once Upon a Mattress sandwiched in between), more than just family and friend (and sometimes enemy) to all the biggest names in the theater for 60 years, she was among the last and best examples of a classic American voice: beholden, passionate, warm, deeply knowledgeable, and devastatingly pointed. As such, the posthumous book in which she stars is broader than a memoir, more personal than a biography, more true than a novel, yet contains elements of each..
THE VELVETEEN FATHER: An Unexpected Journey to Parenthood
“Touching and eloquent. . . The book's honesty and humor are beguiling.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
Being a parent was not a high priority–or even much of a likelihood–for acclaimed journalist and novelist Jesse Green. Yet when Green, at the age of thirty-seven, fell in love with a man who had recently adopted a baby boy, fatherhood suddenly fell into his lap. Now in this warm, humorous, deeply personal book, Green recounts the unexpected journey he and his partner traveled together on the road to parenthood.
In becoming the father–or rather one of the fathers–of Erez, Green faced challenges familiar to all parents, from the first bath to the first tooth, along with a host of dilemmas unique to his situation. As Green discovered, even in blasé New York City, reactions to his unconventional family ranged from the funny to the frightening, the unaccepting to the all-embracing. THE VELVETEEN FATHER is a moving record of the transformative effects parenthood can have on people who least expect to become parents–and of how we are repeatedly made anew by the love of children who need us.
BUY THE BOOK
“Jesse Green manages not only to be funny and smart but to ask—and to answer believably—profound questions about love and lust, about appearance and reality . . . In the end, we can all recognize ourselves here.”
Martin takes the day off from work to make an elaborate meal for his friend Stella and the blind date who could be Martin’s match. Matt certainly is charming and good-looking, but — as both Martin and Stella discover before the entrée is served — he is also straight. Yet by evening’s end, Martin is irrevocably drawn to this magnetic, spirited, and unattainable man.
So Martin obliges when Matt finds himself needing a place to stay, and the two embark upon an oddly comfortable relationship that involves every shade of intimacy but sex. The closer Martin gets to Matt, however, the more he realizes that his enigmatic roommate may not be all that he seems.