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Vidal at 80

Once the most stylish bitch in the US media, Gore Vidal approaches his 80th birthday with his reputation in decline. And what of the novels?

By Duncan Fallowell   October 2005

A few months ago I read Gore Vidal’s 1995 autobiography Palimpsest, and discovered that on 3rd October of this year he will turn 80 years old. There seem to be no public celebrations planned. Why not? Perhaps because not much has happened to him lately. In fact, if you believe his autobiography, not much has happened to him since he fell in love with a schoolmate at the age of 16. The adored one was exceptionally beautiful but killed, alas, in the second world war. Vidal, on his own admission, never again knew love. Instead, he has gone to parties…

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