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BOOK REVIEW

She's the reason he traveled on

A Freewheelin' Time A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties Suze Rotolo Broadway Books: 372 pp., $22.95

May 15, 2008|Kristina Lindgren | Times Staff Writer

In that pre-feminist era, Rotolo also had stirrings of a desire to live her own life. "I couldn't handle being 'one step closer to God.' I was being pecked at because of my proximity to the end of the rainbow. Expected to focus entirely on his needs, I was invisible -- downgraded from chick and guitar string, no less. . . . I felt lost, confused, and betrayed." Rotolo discovered she was pregnant, but rejected Dylan's pleas to marry. (She says they both decided on an abortion. He eventually married and divorced two women, both of whom were pregnant when they exchanged vows.)

After the final breakup -- famously told in "Ballad in Plain D" and "One Too Many Mornings" -- she wrote in a 1964 notebook entry, displaying a characteristic generosity in her despair: "I believe in his genius . . . [but he] doesn't necessarily do the right thing. But where is it written that this must be so in order to do great work in the world?"

Rotolo, mother of a 28-year-old son with her Italian-born husband, has few regrets. She also holds things back. "Their traces go deep, and with all due respect I keep them with my own," she writes, in one of many phrases in the book borrowed from Dylan's songs, past and present -- potent evidence that his music remains part of the soundtrack of her life.

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kris.lindgren@latimes.com

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday, May 16, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 2 inches; 76 words Type of Material: Correction
Suze Rotolo: In some copies of Thursday's Calendar section, a review of the book "A Freewheelin' Time" said that Suze Rotolo was writing about her life in the early 1960s in Greenwich Village after a quarter century. It was nearly half a century ago. The review also said that Bob Dylan married two women who were pregnant when he exchanged vows with them. One of them, Sara Lownds, already had given birth when she married Dylan.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday, May 17, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 49 words Type of Material: Correction
Suze Rotolo: A correction in Friday's paper on a review of Suze Rotolo's memoir, "A Freewheelin' Time," said that Sara Lownds had given birth before she married Bob Dylan. In fact, it was his second wife, Carole Dennis, who had given birth to their daughter before they exchanged vows.

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