This month’s book recommendation is Becoming Duchess Goldblatt, by Anonymous. Duchess Goldblatt—Her Grace or DG to her thousands of Twitter followers, myself included—has been an indelible, wholly invented presence on Twitter for some eight years. Her avatar is a 1633 portrait by Frans Hals, and her distinctive voice—firm yet loving, barmy yet authoritative, warm yet tinged with acid—has inspired endless speculation about her “real” identity. You won’t learn that secret from this memoir, but you will learn how the anonymous author (now a woman of perhaps middle age) came to create her, during a terrible period in her life during which she lost her marriage, her house, her job, and most of her friends. The Duchess became her 81-year-old alter ego: an escape from loneliness and an outlet for her considerable writing talent. The book combines memoir with selected DG tweets, and if you choose the audiobook—try your local library system—you’ll enjoy not just the primary narration by Gabra Zackman but also the wonderful actress J. Smith Cameron reading the tweets and singer/songwriter/actor Lyle Lovett reading the Lyle Lovett parts. (Lovett and Her Grace have a mutual admiration society, and if only DG would deign to follow me back on Twitter we could make it a threesome.)
Remember when the owner of that professional football team in Washington, DC, said he would NEVER change the team’s name? “Daniel Snyder surely meant NEVER to mean forever,” writes trademark lawyer Steven Baird in Duets Blog, “but in 2013, he could not have foreseen how quickly the world has changed over the last six weeks.” A thorough review of what led up to Snyder’s promised “thorough review of the offending team name.