Solid Ivory: A Memoir

Farrar. Nov. 2021. 416p. ISBN 9780374601591. $30. MEMOIR
Revisiting his life and decades-long career, filmmaker Ivory (b. 1928) presents richly evoked tales of his career, travels, and sexuality. Ivory and his filmmaking and romantic partner, Ismail Merchant, made dozens of films, including A Room with a View and The Remains of the Day, and the label “A Merchant Ivory Film” became shorthand for beautifully filmed and acted works of art. In this wonderfully entertaining, keenly observed book, Ivory discusses his childhood in Oregon; his sexual exploration as a gay teen and young adult (including a tender recollection of a boy Ivory observed from afar at age 15, whose name he never learned); movie sets in India and England; high-society gatherings; and interactions with a host of figures, from Vanessa Redgrave to Bruce Chatwin. He also offers poignant sketches of Merchant and longtime collaborator Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.
VERDICT Much like a Merchant Ivory film, this memoir is filled with lush detail, enchanting stories, and memorable characters that will thrill fans both of Merchant’s movies and of film and culture in general.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing