The Friday Afternoon Club: A Family Memoir (Hardcover)

The Friday Afternoon Club: A Family Memoir By Griffin Dunne Cover Image

The Friday Afternoon Club: A Family Memoir (Hardcover)

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“What a remarkable and moving story filled with twists and turns, the most famous of faces, and a complex family revealed with loving candor. I was blown away by Griffin Dunne’s life and his ability to capture so much of it in these beautifully written pages.” —Anderson Cooper

"Joyful, tragic, and resilient with a masterful, roving tone...Griffin takes his rightful place in a family and tradition of real writers.” —David Duchovny

Griffin Dunne’s memoir of growing up among larger-than-life characters in Hollywood and Manhattan finds wicked humor and glimmers of light in even the most painful of circumstances


At eight, Sean Connery saved him from drowning. At thirteen, desperate to hook up with Janis Joplin, he attended his aunt Joan Didion and uncle John Gregory Dunne’s legendary LA launch party for Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. At sixteen, he got kicked out of boarding school, ending his institutional education for good. In his early twenties, he shared an apartment in Manhattan’s Hotel Des Artistes with his best friend and soulmate Carrie Fisher while she was filming some sci-fi movie called Star Wars and he was a struggling actor working as a popcorn concessionaire at Radio City Music Hall. A few years later, he produced and starred in the now-iconic film After Hours, directed by Martin Scorsese. In the midst of it all, Griffin’s twenty-two-year-old sister, Dominique, a rising star in Hollywood, was brutally strangled to death by her ex-boyfriend, leading to one of the most infamous public trials of the 1980s. The outcome was a travesty of justice that marked the beginning of their father Dominick Dunne’s career as a crime reporter for Vanity Fair and a victims' rights activist.

And yet, for all its boldface cast of characters and jaw-dropping scenes, The Friday Afternoon Club is no mere celebrity memoir. It is, down to its bones, a family story that embraces the poignant absurdities and best and worst efforts of its loveable, infuriating, funny, and moving characters—its author most of all.
Griffin Dunne has been an actor, producer, and director since the late 1970s. Among his work, he produced and acted in After Hours; he directed Practical Magic and the documentary The Center Will Not Hold about his aunt, Joan Didion. Griffin and his dog, Mary, live in the East Village of Manhattan.
Product Details ISBN: 9780593652824
ISBN-10: 0593652827
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publication Date: June 11th, 2024
Pages: 400
Language: English
“Dunne’s writing is vivid, openhearted, and full of a rich irony that inflects even the most emotional scenes . . . The result is a raucously entertaining homage to an unforgettable dynasty.” Publishers Weekly

“Captivating . . . beyond entertaining, honest in confronting heartbreaks and jealousies, often genuinely funny, and somehow understated . . . Dunne's storytelling is buoyant, his prose crisp; he's most definitely a writer . . . Clear-eyed, heartfelt . . . Readers will hope for future books.” Booklist (starred review)

“What a remarkable and moving story filled with twists and turns, the most famous of faces, and a complex family revealed with loving candor. I was blown away by Griffin Dunne’s life and his ability to capture so much of it in these beautifully written pages.” —Anderson Cooper

“Griffin Dunne has given us a family history that is both humorous and heartbreaking. The Friday Afternoon Club is infused with the vitality that confidence in one's perceptions can bring and the ambiguity that accompanies the expense and strain of fame. Confessions of this order are works of art.” —Susanna Moore, author of Miss Aluminum
 
“Griffin Dunne has been entertaining peopleboth on-screen and offall his life. And though you probably know him best as a gifted actor, make no mistakeDunne is a real writer. The Friday Afternoon Club is a riveting and rollicking portrait of Dunne’s unconventional family as well as a deeply considered reckoning with the tragedy that exploded within it. He is honest about himself, generous with others, and insightful about every glittering and dark aspect of his richly lived years. He is alsolike the best entertainers—ridiculously funny. This is just a wonderful memoir. Period.” —Alexandra Styron, author of Reading My Father
 
The Friday Afternoon Club, Griffin Dunne’s singular memoir, is joyful, tragic, and resilient with a masterful, roving tone as varied as the actor-director-producer-author’s restless career. A self-described voracious reader and autodidact, Griffin renders the almost unbelievably American picaresque of his own and his family’s beginnings with a comic’s touch, and then has the spiritual maturity and writerly chops to handle both the looming tabloid heartbreak and its very personal, almost unbearable aftermath with unflinching honesty. Here is a talented man—flawed, injured, incomplete—a questing, charming, smart man taking on life (and death) day by day. His refusal of  ‘closure,’ the original Hollywood ending, is courageous and exemplary, and, like his father, and his aunt and uncle, and a host of unrecorded Irish American spinners of bittersweet tales in his colorful ancestry, Griffin takes his rightful place in a family and tradition of real writers.” —David Duchovny

“Despite the glamorous backdrops in California and New York, the author portrays a family whose core human experiences make them universally relatable . . . A poignant love letter and evidence that through it all, genuine love is the backbone that keeps a family strong.” Kirkus (starred review)