The Marble Faun of Grey Gardens is Jerry Torre’s touching and at times haunting memoir about his teenage days as caretaker of Grey Gardens, the now-celebrated mansion chronicled in the iconic documentary Grey Gardens and two feature-length films. The book, co-written with film historian Tony Maietta, is a behind-the-scenes look at “Big Edie” and “Little Edie” and their bizarre and reclusive life of squalor amidst the tremendous wealth of East Hampton, the family bond that developed between Jerry and them, and the day everything was turned upside down forever with the arrival of documentary filmmakers Albert and David Maysles.
What begins as a teenager coming upon what he assumed was an old, abandoned house takes on new dimensions when suddenly Edie appears on the porch draped in a shower curtain with an apron tied around her head. “You must be the Marble Faun,” she tells the stunned Jerry. Rather than chasing him away as he at first feared, she invites Jerry to meet her mother upstairs. So begins a strange and unusually close friendship with the two women as Jerry takes on the task of volunteer gardener of their estate, often sleeping nights in their living room and staying out of the way of mother-daughter arguments. The Marble Faun of Grey Gardens is Jerry’s look back on the filming of Grey Gardens but also how the notoriety the movie achieved changed his life along with the Beales’s as their private world is shared with audiences everywhere.
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About the Author
Jerry Torre grew up in Brooklyn, New York and left home at age sixteen. Not long after leaving home, while working as an assistant gardener in East Hampton, New York he quite literally stumbled into the house and world known as Grey Gardens. Today, he lives happily with his partner, Ted, in New York City, dividing his time between his passion for sculpting, and in being a caretaker yet again for Grey Gardens-this time for its legacy. Jerry's website is jerrythemarblefaun.com.
Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction … 1
Prologue … 5
Life in Another Garden … 13
Entering the Garden … 35
Tending the Garden … 49
Cameras in the Garden … 110
Leaving the Garden … 142
Life Outside of the Garden … 192
Once More into the Garden … 218
Acknowledgments … 237
About the Authors … 241
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Marble Faun of Grey Gardens This book is a must-read for any fan of Grey Gardens! Tony Maietta and Jerry Torre have written a moving, compassionate, and very entertaining book about real women living in a surreal world. The Marble Faun of Grey Gardens, gives humane pathos to Mrs. Edith Bouvier Beale and Little Edie and these pop-cultural icons are given a new perspective with Jerry’s unique, eye-witness account. This book is very well written with generous background information to understand Jerry’s developing fascination with and concern for the Beales. It fills in the blanks and answers so many smoldering questions about just what happened to these two women that brought them to this point in their lives. It also brings about new information to light about Jacqueline Kennedy’s involvement, the Beales after the film crew left, and Jerry’s life after leaving Grey Gardens. A fascinating read!
The story of the 2 Edies is so incredible to believe in the first place. It will s heartwarming to know that there was one individual who treasured them. I find it so sad that with all the money in that family no one got them professional help. Or cared enough to advocate for them.
Obsessed with Grey Gardens, thank you for sharing
‘The Marble Faun of Grey Gardens’ has rightly been much anticipated. Jerry Torre’s intimate narrative (co-authored by Tony Maietta) takes you back to the sultry Hamptons of the 1970’s, beyond the line of sight of the cameras. Be ready for surprises along the way, as the remarkable life of the enigmatic young man who appeared in the famed Maysles documentary (and the more recently released ‘The Beales of Grey Gardens’) unfolds chapter by chapter. I found myself carrying this book around to read—it’s that much of a treat to savor for a ‘Grey Gardens’ enthusiast. If you’re not familiar with the Beales & friends, this book will draw you in and make you want to learn what’s it’s all about. It’s a rare first-hand account and not to be missed.