Jan/Feb 2017 • Vol. XXXIX No. 1 NonfictionJanuary 1, 2017 |

Aunt Dorle’s Master Lovers

Long before Dorle Jarmel, my father's aunt, was a figure in the New York music world—working as Toscanini's press secretary and helping bring Maria Callas to the Metropolitan Opera—she was churning out romantic stories. Written in the nineteen tens, when she was in her teens herself, they were called Master Lovers of the World and loosely based on the lives of historical figures. In Dorle's telling, Irish nationalist Charles Steward Parnell had his heart broken three times. First by a "young girl picking plums in an orchard" with a "delicate rose-flushed face with its golden hair … framed in a sunbonnet." She drowned. He met his second love at a "Fifth Avenue ballroom" with a "rainbow froth of dancers." Her hair was "piled high in auburn masses, her eyes were hazel," and "shot with golden lights," but she would not marry him "until he distinguished himself." A year after Parnell "slaved in the cause of Irish freedom," he learned via telegram of "the marriage of his fickl

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David Winner’s most recent novel, Tyler’s Last, a darkly comic homage to Patricia Highsmith, came out in October of 2015. His first novel, The Cannibal of Guadalajara, won the 2015 Gival Novel Prize and was nominated for the National Book Award. His short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the Village Voice, Iowa Review, Fiction, Chicago Quarterly Review, and several other publications in the US and UK. He is fiction editor of the American, an international web magazine based in Rome.

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