23 April 2012

Progress Report 12: An Official Announcement

Though this isn’t the best copy of the image,
I’m quite smitten with this portrait of Madeline:
beautiful, proud, and in the spotlight,
where she belongs.

It’s my immense pleasure to announce that the University Press of Mississippi has contracted with me to publish the authorized biography of Madeline Kahn. For now, no publication date has been set, since I have to resume my research and interviews, and at some point actually write the thing — but I am very much and very joyfully back in business.

To the best of my ability, I’ll use this space to keep readers up to date. For now, I can tell you that my working title for the book seems to have passed muster, and it may yet wind up as the real, final, and official title: Taffeta, Darling! The Life and Work of Madeline Kahn.

Taking my cue, of course, from the farewell scene at the train station from Young Frankenstein.

In a troubled economy, the process of finding a publisher has been longer by far than anticipated, and sometimes brutally discouraging. In fact the Press first confirmed its interest in the book just hours after my seemingly ominous encounter with a homeless author on the New York subway — that is to say, when all looked most dire.

Now I feel we’re in very good hands: the Press does a terrific job with books like mine, and I’ll be working with a first-rate editor. Really, I’m not sure things could have turned out more happily.

To all those who have helped me so far, thanks — and keep it coming! I’ll need plenty more help before this thing is done. And to one and all, please, do leave comments here, and do keep coming back for updates.

Foxy lady: That fur piece didn’t survive its encounter with Marty Feldman.


Mikebench said...

I was hoping for "Ah, Sweet Mystery of life!" as the title... :-) But honestly, I am so happy for you that I wouldn't mind if it were even called "Going Rogue"!

William V. Madison said...

I used “Sweet Mystery” as the title of an article I wrote on Madeline for Opera News, but I daresay it's the most popular alternative title for the book, too. As I say, we're a long way from a final decision on the title, but I'll keep you all up to date.

P.S. That Opera News article can be found here:


Michael Leddy said...

Congratulations, Bill. I’m now reading of U of Miss P book of interviews with Dwight Macdonald. I think you’re in good hands.

mike fontanelli said...

A worthy bio subject, I can't wait to read it! My only encounter with Ms Kahn occurred at a Fatty Arbuckle tribute in Astoria Queens in the 1980s. My friends and I sat directly behind her, but we were too shy to speak to her. She howled at the films, literally! She had one of the cutest laughs ever, natural and joyous. I later wrote her a fan letter with a b&w 8 x 10 still from HIGH ANXIETY enclosed, which she graciously signed. She added a color, autographed glossy of herself in character from YELLOWBEARD, which I have framed to this day. Brilliantly talented, funny, beautiful and sweet -- you can't get much better than that.