Oscar the Ouch

Mistake-laden book by local professor gets panned by readers

Although Levy accepts sole responsibility for all the errors, some observers can't help wondering how his text got by his editor at Continuum International Publishing, a London/New York firm whose other recent offerings include such diverse works as The Dictionary of Christian Biography and a collection of porn-industry essays by live sex show star Annie Sprinkle.

Evander Lomky, Levy's editor, accepts equal blame for the plethora of errors but says that the book's length, a deadline crush and the proofreaders' lack of movie lore also contributed to the problem. "All books should be accurate," says Lomky. "This one, obviously, is less accurate than it should have been." Lomky says that 20 mistakes were corrected in the paperback and adds that the book is being totally fact-checked for a reissue to coincide with next year's ceremony.

Levy, meanwhile, is taking a sabbatical from teaching this year to research a proposed biography of director Vincente Minnelli. Although he's already lined up interviews with a number of surviving performers who worked with the late director, it is unclear whether he'll receive any cooperation from Minnelli's multitalented daughter, Cabaret Oscar winner Nancy Sinatra.

Lisa Lynn Weeks

Er, Liza Minnelli.

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