Category Archives: Holly Golightly

Holly Golightly

Holly Golightly aka Lula Mae Barnes

Eloise was an icon that symbolized my childhood in New York–unsupervised, wild and crazy, lonely, but always, somehow safe and frequently fun.  Holly Golightly was the symbol of my mother’s time in New York.  The Georgann Rea of the Dakota and Park Avenue, with charge accounts at Bergdorfs and Bendels and Bloomingdales and tables at La Grenouille and Lutece was a creation of my stepfather and his taste and money and also of my mother and her aching desire to have the perfect life she’d always dreamed about–glamourous and romantic and important.  She’d glimpse it, grab at it and hold it in her hand like the exquisite jewelry my stepfather bought for her but she’d never be able to hang onto it.  Underneath her frosted hair and her little black Italian silk cocktail dresses, mother would always be the Iowa orphan (Loreta May Gronau) and abused little girl from Kansas City (Georgann McAdams) looking for unconditional love and a sense of belonging.

In the Library!

“Nine Lives” by Varjak, Paul

“With the Rich and Mighty” by Connor, Macaulay

While there are almost no card catalogues left in libraries, there is still the virtual thrill of looking up one’s book in the computer or on-line catalogue.  “Chanel Bonfire” by Lawless, Wendy.  It is an unbeatable thrill — different from finding the book in a store or having it become a bestseller.  

I think this may be because, for most of us, going to the library for the first time is a major event.  A library card is probably the first piece of ID a person can have.  It’s also a matter of pride for a child; it declares to the world that the bearer of this card is “a reader”, a person who can read.  It also comes with responsibility.  When you take out a book, your name, your card number, is put down as the person responsible for that book for the next two weeks.  In the old days, your name would be hand written on the book’s card and the date hand stamped.  

My first library card was issued by the New York Public Library.  Since then I’ve had many cards from different libraries.  And I’m so pleased to find my book in The Glendale Public Library where I live, The Pasadena Public Library where I wrote some of the book, The Los Angeles and West Hollywood Public Libraries where we first took our children, the small red brick Carnegie public library in Hancock, New Hampshire, where our family live and, of course The New York Public Library where my sister still lives and where I plan to visit the book next time I’m in town.  Provided it’s not out! 


Thanks to the Glendale Public Library

How are YOU celebrating National Library Week?!

While Holly Golightly was researching the richest men in Brazil under 40, I was at the Glendale Public Library having a terrific time!  Thanks to everyone who came out and to Leon Mayer of the Friends of the Library, The Mayor of Glendale, Frank Quintero and State Assemblyman Mike Gatto for the lovely gifts and kind words about me and Chanel Bonfire.  You’re all darlings!


Georgann Rea nee McAdams aka Loretta May Gronau

Our mother, born Loretta May Gronau in Polk County, Iowa…

…renamed Georgann McAdams after her adoption by a wealthy banker and his wife in order to “save their unhappy marriage”.  Georgann, Loretta, Gronau, McAdams, Lawless, Rea, it’s no wonder she never knew who she was.  Loretta May Gronau does make me think of Lula May Barnes aka Holly Golightly.


My mother was not “beautiful” but she was striking — the kind of woman every man would look at when she entered a room.

“A week later, a postcard arrived from the Caribbean.  In my mother’s curly, perfect Catholic-school handwriting she wrote that she was there with my stepfather, she wanted a divorce, and that the weather was warm and sunny.” — Chanel Bonfire