The Screenwriters

PEG is developing the screenplay WHEN I WAS COOL by Nancy Schoenberger and Sam Kashner adapted from the book When I Was Cool by Sam Kashner. 

The screenplay WHEN I WAS COOL by Nancy Schoenberger
and Sam Kashner was adapted from the book
“When I Was Cool” by Sam Kashner.

Sam Kashner is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and author of three books of nonfiction and one novel, Sinatraland.

Nancy Schoenberger is a poet, a biographer, and professor of English who directs the creative writing program at The College of William and Mary. In addition to three books of verse, Ms. Schoenberger co-wrote two books with her husband Sam Kashner: A Talent for Genius, The Life and Times of Oscar Levant, and Hollywood Kryponite: The Bulldog, The Lady, and The Death of Superman which was the basis of the 2007 Focus Features movie, HOLLYWOODLAND. She is also the author of Dangerous Muse, A Life of Lady Caroline Blackwood. She has contributed work to Vogue and Vanity Fair, and has written on American movies, women writers, creativity, madness, and alcohol. Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and The Marriage of the Century is her latest book, co-authored with Sam Kashner.

The Book

First student of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, Sam Kashner tells with humor and grace his life with the Beats. But the best story is Kashner himself -- the coming-of-age of a young man in the chaotic world of the very idols he hoped to emulate.


“Consistently funny … moving and always sharply observed.” (Rocky Mountain News )

[Kashner’s] memoir is about enlightenment, the kind that comes from looking back with compassion but with eyes wide open (Booklist )

“Engaging [and] illuminating.” (San Francisco Chronicle )

“Hilarious and touching.” (Newsday )

“[This] headlong, infectious tales honors the author’s youthful idols by remembering them with tenderness and affection.” (Time Out New York)

“Witty and warm grace notes to the cool history of the Beats.” (Kirkus Reviews )

“Fond, funny and finally heartbreaking.” (Village Voice )

“A memoir worth some howling.” (Entertainment Weekly )

Read "This You Call a College?" - The New York Times Review


Click to listen to Sam Kashner on NPR's Fresh Air from WHYY.

Read "Conversation with Myself" as Sam Kashner interviews himself on his book.