I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise: A Life of Bunny Mellon


Product Details

$40.00  $37.20
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date
6.1 X 8.3 X 2.9 inches | 2.15 pounds

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About the Author

Mac Griswold is the author of The Manor: Three Centuries at a Slave Plantation on Long Island and Washington's Gardens at Mount Vernon, and the coauthor, with Eleanor Weller, of The Golden Age of American Gardens. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Travel + Leisure. She lives in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.


"Meticulously researched and engaging . . . Like an expert tour guide Ms. Griswold takes you around the Mellons' 'self-sufficient universe [where] acquiring the best became expected, ingrained, ' commenting with scholarly detail on the gardens and the décor of the houses . . . [Bunny] was a gifted horticulturalist, and this book is certain to inspire gardeners, even if they don't have Mellon millions to spend on topiary." --Moira Hodgson, The Wall Street Journal

"[An] exhaustively researched and elegantly written biography . . . Griswold sees Mellon ultimately as an impresario and a showman who theatrically created one spectacular work of fantasy after another. She sure had quite a run." --James Reginato, Air Mail

"[An] impressive portrait . . . From Tuxedo Park to Virginia to the White House, Griswold escorts us through Mellon's life as we meet icons of culture, fashion, and politics... [The book] shows how Mellon became a tastemaker." --Lily Lopate, Avenue

"Griswold's rich narrative highlights Mellon's extravagance, but avoids mythologizing . . . A fast-paced charmer for design enthusiasts and art mavens." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise is like an exquisite string of pearls: the perfect balance of elegance, style, design, and beauty. This book is inspiring, spirited, and totally absorbing." --Diane von Furstenberg

"Mac Griswold's I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise is unlike anything written about Bunny Mellon. With grace, rigor, and an in-depth knowledge of Mellon's world, Griswold summons compassion for this immensely gifted and complicated woman." --Michael Shnayerson, author of Boom: Mad Money, Mega Dealers, and the Rise of Contemporary Art

"Mac Griswold has written a deeply-researched and revealing biography of a woman whose vast wealth gave her the opportunity to test the limits of human contentment." --Phyllis Rose, author of Parallel Lives

"Fortunately, Bunny Mellon really lived. No novelist could have invented her or her life. Mac Griswold brilliantly follows the triumphs and disasters of that storied life to a finale, Bunny's agony and funeral--told with sensitivity and depth of feeling that brought tears to my eyes." --Louis Begley, author of Wartime Lies and About Schmidt

"If Bunny Mellon lived by the credo that "nothing should be noticed, '' she failed to reckon with a biographer like Mac Griswold who--like a butterfly collector tracking a rare specimen--is undeceived by the ostentatious simplicity of her complex subject's camouflage." --Guy Trebay, styles reporter at The New York Times

"Mac Griswold has produced a fabulous biography of the style icon Bunny Mellon that is a must for all those who are passionate about gardens and interiors." --Bunny Williams, interior designer