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Louis Auchincloss

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  • A close-up view of New York's social set

    A close-up view of New York's social set
    When he died a year ago last month at the age of 92, Louis Auchincloss had amassed an astonishing body of work over more than six decades: nearly 50 novels and story collections and 18 nonfiction books, many written while he was working as a distinguished lawyer. Though often denigrated for concentrating on the claustrophobic world of New York's Social Register set, in fact he delved deep into a protean world of inherited and self-made wealth, of insiders and interlopers, of icons and iconoclasts. Auchincloss was frequently hailed as a latter-day incarnation of Edith Wharton, but he owed at least as much to the French novelists Flaubert and Proust, who were his lodestars. Amazingly productive to the very end, he has left us the short but complex and intriguing "A Voice From Old New York: A Memoir of My Youth," which offers glimpses into a forgotten world and even more tantalizing glimpses into the man himself.