“Bradshaw was a famously charming man, and his lounge-lizard urbanity fully suffuses his prose. This new anthology is a necessary book for all men and women of letters.” —Martin Amis
A collection of magazine writer Jon Bradshaw’s essential writings, The Ocean is Closed rediscovers a memorable talent, and offers us a shadow reality to the established literary cannon of the mid-century. With droll wit and keen intelligence, Bradshaw’s cinematic prose brings the ’70s to vibrant life—from the lurid pick-up scenes at hotspots like Maxwell’s Plum in New York, and the Beverly Hills Hotel in L.A., to full-bodied portraits of literary figures such as W.H. Auden and Tom Stoppard; affectionate profiles of hustlers and con men like Bobby Riggs and Minnesota Fats, to chilling reportage about street gangs in the Bronx, terrorism in Germany, and mercenary freedom fighters in India.
Jon Bradshaw, a man of tremendous personal charm, good humor and rugged beauty, was a literary concoction of his own devising: the magazine writer as world-weary traveler and man about town. Adored by British royalty, magazine editors, movie executives, and professional mercenaries, alike, Bradshaw first made a splash in London during the Swinging Sixties. Pals with the likes of Anna Wintour, Timothy Leary, Gore Vidal, and Martin Amis, his career flourished at a time when magazines were at the center of the cultural conversation, delivering stories that were talked about for weeks. For twenty years, he cut a distinct figure in this world, before his untimely death. A forgotten master of longform magazine writing, Bradshaw is ripe for rediscovery as one of the sharpest chroniclers of his age.