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This morning, Racked ran a story about the two dueling Isabella Blow biographies that arrived in American bookstores this week. The story included a comment from one of the authors, Lauren Goldstein Crowe about relatives of Isabella who attended her book launch. Tom Sykes, co-author with Detmar Blow of "Blow by Blow," the other biography, responds.
Tom Sykes: Lauren Goldstein Crowe's outrageous insinuation to you that somehow her book is more accurate because Issie's sister came to her book launch cannot go unchallenged. Lavinia, Isabella's beloved youngest sister, came to the launch of our book in London, and was an honored guest at the dinner afterwards at Annabels. Freddie, Lavinia's son and one of Issie's cousins, was also at our launch in New York.
Isabella loathed her stepmother and frequently referred to her (in her inimitable style) as "a creature my father met on a bus in Hong Kong" so I would not take her presence at a book's launch party to be a particularly good endorsement of its integrity.
I bumped into Lauren Goldstein Crowe at a party a few months go and she told me she was so sick of working on Isabella's story that she was giving up writing to become a 'consultant'! I have to say the only excerpt I have read, on Business of Fashion, about whether or not 'fashion killed' Issie was so childish I struggled to get past the opening paragraphs in which she went on and on about how she was the daughter of a psychologist as if this gave her some unique insight into other people's minds! Ridiculous, quite frankly.
Anna Wintour came to our launch in London, and has supported our book by mentioning it in the editor's letter in this month's issue of Vogue.
I wouldn't be saying all this if [Goldstein Crowe] had not launched this snide attack on our book, but now, I'm breaking my silence.
Detmar, as you correctly note, is a bereaved husband, and I thank you for noting that in your review. The review you quote from in the Guardian was an incredibly mean and personal attack on Detmar dressed up as a review. He is attempting to put on a brave face but he is of course upset by these personal attacks on him, but he wants to maintain a dignified silence. However, I'm a journalist, and if people attack the book by attacking Detmar in this disgusting, personal fashion, I WILL fight back on his behalf.
It's interesting that when we received a review in The Dubliner, an arty Irish magazine, from a journalist who did not have any axe to grind, did not know Issie or Detmar, we received 4 stars out of five, and the book was described as "warm, enthusiastic, slightly bonkers biography—her husband Detmar narrates at a gallop through the giddy world of fashion and the incestuous world of the British aristocracy".
· Dueling Isabella Blow biographies pitted against each other [Racked]
· All Isabella Blow coverage [Racked]