Thursday, August 02, 2007

Nude Naked Authors

from James Grippando

Jackie has the day off, and since I have the stage, I want to talk about something near and near to every naked author’s . . . err, heart. Nudity.

The Grippando family has spent the last two weeks in Martha’s Vineyard hitting the beaches. To be honest, we’ve actually been on vacation since the end of June. We’ve seen the mountains in North Carolina, everything from Broadway to Ground Zero in New York City, the Duck Tour in Boston, the Berkshires and Tanglewood in western Massashusetts, and nearly every beach on the Vineyard. This may sound a bit maniacal, but I think my wife and I realize that it won’t be long before our children reach that age at which they would rather be with their friends and refuse to vacation with their parents, so we are cramming it all in now. And, of course, with a September 1 deadline looming, I’ve been working on this vacation—writing and research. Now, this is not quite as bad as it sounds. I’m currently writing a book in which the lead character plays third base for the Boston Red Sox. Some of that “research” involved taking my eight-year-old son to see a game at Fenway Park, eating Fenway franks, drinking Harp beer, and watching David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez park a couple of homers over the Green Monster.

But back to nudity.

We hit two beaches this past week that are particularly beautiful. One is near Gay Head Cliffs (a name that Judy Blume went to town with in "Summer Sisters"), and the other is a private beach called “Lucy Vincent.” You must have a permit from a resident to get onto Lucy Vincent, and Linda Fairstein was a real sweetheart—she not only gave us use of the permit, but she loaned us her SUV which is attached to the permit. As the Grippando clan was leaving her house, Linda’s husband mentioned, “If you head to the left, it’s a nude beach.” Linda added: “You’ll know you’ve reached it, because you’ll probably see Alan Dershowiz on his cell phone.”

I try not to think too much on vacation (as the saying goes, why should today be different from any other day?) but this thought came to me as I was relaxing on the clothed portion of Lucy Vincent beach: “nude naked authors.” Here’s the concept.

Naked Authors (that would be the six of us nude scribblers, as Paul calls us) should start up the “nude naked author awards.” These awards would be given to authors who have actually been seen in public, naked. My first nomination is Alan Dershowitz.

Now, we have to set some rules. I have some to suggest, but your input is welcome.

1. Must be a published author.
2. Must have been seen in public in the nude AS AN AUTHOR. Streaking across campus in your buff vintage 1978 college body does not count. The body displayed nude must bear some resemblance to that fat--- you park in the chair to write.
3. Proof of nudity is required. Pictures, however, are not required. In fact, in view of what most authors must look like naked, pictures are ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN. One witness will suffice, unless that witness is a fiction writer, lawyer, drug addict, or other chronic liar, in which case corroboration is required. (As a footnote to the Dershowitz nomination, I did the Mystery Brunch in Edgartown (kudos to Edgartown Books for bring Joe Finder and Mashall Karp to be there with me), and two women in the audience corroborated the Dershowitz citing).
4. No disparaging comments allowed (such as, “Good grief! Who would want to see X naked? I wouldn’t be able to have sex for a month!) If we’re going to do this, we have to be genital sensitive (or something like that).
5. Well, all right. Maybe a few disparaging remarks. But only if they’re really funny.
6. I haven’t thought of Rule Number 6. Maybe five is enough.

What do you think?

All the best, James Grippando


  1. I can think of some authors I'd LIKE to see nude. Hmmm... (And more than a few that I'd rather not, myself included).

  2. Your post was Hee-larious. I've been to that beach in Martha's Vineyard. I didn't see Alan Dershowitz but I did see a very large cell phone...wait a minute...maybe it wasn't a cell...never mind.

  3. Alternatively, we could do a Team Photo with all the scribblers actually in the buff. But to make the shot PG-13, I suppose our books could be strategically placed.

    (Jim Born insists it will take a hardcover to do the job. Har!)

    As for the noted constitutional scholar and gadfly Allen Dershowitz...jeez, isn't that cruel and unusual punishment?

  4. Love the team photo idea. I'll call Annie Liebowitz and set the date.

  5. I have just one question: What will the NNAA award statue look like?

  6. I think we need a nice statuette of that Coppertone kid, but I can't think of anyone I want to see scantily clad at Bcon, much less full-monte starko on a beach.

  7. Hey Jim,
    My daughter heard about your babysitting rates. She'll be happy to fill in.

    I like the contest idea. Too bad I just pulled a groin muscle and will sit this one out.


  8. Great post. I've also been to that beach, and was amazed at how totally free people from the "provincial" New England states could be in the buff -- just letting it all hang out.
    You can't find that kind of freedom on the West Coast.

    You can read the story at: