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Book Title

Directing Herbert White

Author 1
James Franco
Poem Excerpt
I’m a nocturnal creature,
And I’m here to cheat time.
You can see time and exhaustion
Taking pay from my face—
In fifty years
My sleep will be death,
I’ll go like the rest,
But I’ll have played
All the games and all the roles.
—from “Nocturnal”
“There’s never been a book quite like this. Hollywood—fame, celebrity, the promise of becoming an artist—is the beast at its center. Franco knows it like Melville knows whaling. Hollywood in this book devours its young. Obsessed with myths about its own past, it can be survived only by finding a vantage point that is not Hollywood. Bold yet subtle, fearless yet disarming, Franco has made a book you will never forget.”—Frank Bidart
“A star-studded cast moves like ghosts across the screen of James Franco’s poetic consciousness, imbuing the writing with scenes of icons who are also humans replete with sorrow and presence in our own psyches. James Dean, Monica Vitti, Catherine Deneuve, Sal Mineo, Heath Ledger pass and fade. The author has a wonderful self-reflexive insouciance about his own fame and roles inhabited, from Hart Crane to Allen Ginsberg to Harvey Milk’s lover. Franco is a gifted contemporary Renaissance kind of guy, surveying the waterfront of illusion, suffering, and impermanence. We leave the movie theater a little wiser.”—Anne Waldman

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6 x 9
The debut poetry collection by actor, director, and writer James Franco

About the Author

James  Franco
Credit: Anna Kooris
James Franco is an actor, director, writer, and visual artist. He is the author of Directing Herbert White,as well as two works of fiction, Palo Alto and Actors Anonymous, and a collage of memoir, snapshots, poems, and artwork, A California Childhood. He lives in New York and Los Angeles.
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  • “Poetry is the weak sister of its sibling arts . . . and that will change only by means of a long, tedious and possibly futile effort at persuasion. Perhaps it’s a blessing to have James Franco on one’s side in that struggle.”—David Orr, The New York Times Book Review
  • “Surprisingly vivid. . . . The best of these poems are works no one else could have written, bright reflections on the author’s ambitiously dizzying time in the spotlight—or is it a hall of mirrors?”Publishers Weekly
  • “Franco’s bold and magnetic examination of life in the mirrored hall of make-believe and fame taps deeply into our collective mythology.”Booklist
  • “A piece of art that captures the essence of Tinseltown.”C Magazine
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