Sex & the City Star Presents New Memoir

Actor Evan Handler, probably best known for his role as the loveable mensch Harry Goldenblatt in the hit television series and movie “Sex and the City,” is currently promoting his second autobiographical book.

 

Actor/author Evan Handler settles into reading from latest book.

 

Entitled It’s Only Temporary:   The Good News and the Bad News of Being Alive, this work is a collection of what is described as “funny, offbeat and poignant autobiographical essays” which delve into his experiences post-leukemia treatment during which time he had to pick up the pieces of his life- both professional and personal- and come to terms with the fact that, although he’d survived a major, life-threatening illness, there was now no state of grace or magic for him.   Life, as he tells it, despite his miracle of survival, was just taking place as it does for any other person.   While his first New York Times critically-acclaimed book Time on Fire speaks to his ordeals during diagnosis and treatment for acute myeloid leukemia, this book picks up tens years later in life with stories that shift from the laugh-out-loud funny self-deprecating humor that is Handler’s hallmark, to the author/actor’s profound musings about the existence of God.

 

Actor/author Evan Handler treats crowd to two essays contained in latest book.

 

Handler visited Clinton Book Shop recently- a store designated a while back as one of the top ten indies in the state of New Jersey- and shared two of his insightful and hilarious essays with fans, proving his prowess not only as a writer of first-person account, but also as a raconteur.

 

“My wife’s from Italy,” he announced mysteriously by way of introducing one of the pieces to be read.   “She ain’t from around here.”   He went on to describe how his then-new wife was aghast at the lack of cleanliness at various grocery vendors in US cities in which they’d lived, telling him, “An Italian would never buy food from those people.”

 

“Elisa (and her parents, Evonne’ and Umberto) were horrified by the cracked and dirty tile in the local deli,” he shared further.   This prompted a fun discussion about cultural egocentrism and how that morphed into an idea for him about Italians’ fastidiousness regarding certain types of personal hygiene and, eventually, prompting him to pen an essay about, of all things, the use of bidets.   The treatise began, predictably, with his explaining his wife’s confusion about the lack of use of bidets in America and came full circle with his sharing his own tongue-in-cheek suggestion for improving hygiene- use of prosciutto, of all things, as cleansing wipes.   Out of context, of course, that sounds very crude; but within the confines of the small group gathered at his signing- and even for a reader, enjoying this story, while alone, via the pages of his book- it's pretty hilarious.

 

As for his writing practice for this particular project, Handler stated that he had some difficulties with getting this book “full circle.”   He described that he was off-and-running with the initial idea, but then got a bit stalled once he got the “book deal.”

 

“It’s hard sometimes to write with a twenty-month old around,” he joked, referring to his young daughter.   “But, also, most readers aren’t aware of the compromising that takes place from the writer’s first impulse (for a book/story) to what’s, eventually, given to them (to read).”

 

Handler shared much about himself during the appearance:   his battle with post traumatic stress following his years of hospitalizations and medical treatments for the leukemia, his personal struggles in attempting to find meaning in life- a true “silver lining” to his having survived what many sufferers never will, and his quest to infuse his time now with activities and pursuits of meaning- meanwhile ever feeling as though life for him is “one step forward, two steps back.”

 

“Most people don’t understand (the impact of) post traumatic stress disorder,” he said.   “I still have fear and apprehension that it (his success) could all be taken away.”   He credits his meeting his wife, their marriage and their daughter, for helping him work through these issues.

 

“I’m a very, very happy man now,” Handler shared, crediting his wife for helping him through a lot of “stuff."  “I may have more than my share of paranoia (wondering what bad thing is going to happen next) but I have an extreme sense of gratitude."

 

Now, for most of us, no matter what our personal struggles and challenges might be, isn’t that an ideal for which to strive?  

 

It’s Only Temporary:   The Good News and the Bad News of Being Alive” is published by Riverhead Books (Penguin Group) copyright 2008 (ISBN:   978-1-59448-995-2, hardcover, $24.95) and is available at your favorite independent bookseller or other retail book outlet.

 

Evan Handler and new fan.

 

 

M.D.Caprario is a writer, editor, and journalist covering all things literary and entertainment- related in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles- and other great cities around the world where good things happen.   Reach her at [email protected].

 

Text and images copyright 2008 M.D. Caprario

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