Amid a drug-fueled rash that night, untold furniture and a naked body were thrown onto the terrace of a penthouse apartment in Apelles. Hazel, then 6 years old and sleeping in a guest room at the party, found herself at the center of the disaster, which her father, author Erwin Saltwater, has woven into a bestseller that has her. transformed overnight. in literary titan.
The collateral damage to this artistic alchemy was Hazel’s identity, as she suffered two violations during this party. The first happened when senile lawyer Albert Caldwell, as the last act on earth, crawled into bed with her, grabbed her hand, and “slashed a little slit” in her head, making it. stuffing with her memories until she “becomes a binder for Albert’s story.”
Also chasing Hazel out of her own conscience was her father’s fictionalized version of her. In the name of truthfulness (and Livings’ novel questions in a thousand ways whether such a thing exists), Hazel’s father hasn’t changed anyone’s name in his book. So, she recalls, “I became a photo negative, a child-shaped hole in which anyone who had read the book tried to put the Hazel they met in these pages.”
Today, Hazel – who is even more traumatized by the dematerialization of her husband at the World Trade Center on September 11 – has decided to write her own version of “The Blizzard Party”, a dig into her past and those of her. father and his neighbors. . From Hazel’s point of view, Erwin had it all wrong: “He translated my story without even consulting the original.”
It’s hard not to hear, in all these tales and tales, echoes of the family of Joseph Heller, who wrote much of the bombshell novel “Catch-22” in the 2K apartment south of the Apthorp, and who, like Erwin, both hid and revealed themselves by transmuting the disturbing experiences of WWII into his fiction. After Heller wrote about a man’s disaffection with his dreary children and wife in the 1974 novel “Something Happened,” his daughter Erica Heller parried the blow in a 1975 essay in Harper. titled “It Sure Did”. She then continued with a 2011 memoir about growing up with her father in the Apthorp.