Lillian Hellman

Lillian Hellman

An Imperious Life

Book - 2014
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Glamorous, talented, audacious--Lillian Hellman knew everyone, did everything, had been everywhere. By the age of 29 she had written the first of four hit Broadway plays, and soon she was considered a member of America's first rank of dramatists, a position she maintained for more than twenty-five years. Apart from her literary accomplishments, she lived a rich life filled with notable friendships, controversial political activity, travel, and love affairs, most importantly with Dashiell Hammett. But by the time she died, the truth about her life and works had been called into question. Scandals attached to her name, having to do with sex, with money, and with her own veracity. Exploring Hellman's leftist politics, her Jewish and Southern background, and her famous testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee, biographer Gallagher also undertakes a new reading of Hellman's carefully crafted memoirs and plays, in which she is both revealed and hidden. Gallagher sorts through the facts and the myths, arriving at a sharply drawn portrait of a woman who lived large to the end of her remarkable life and never backed down from a fight.--From publisher description.
Contents: The Hubbards of Bowden
The Marxes of Demopolis
Two Jewish girls
The writing life: 1933-1984
Along came a spider
The incurious tourist
Lillian Hellman's analyst
"You are what you are to me"
Having her say
Jewish lit
An honored woman
Mere facts
Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, [2014]
Copyright Date: ©2014
Branch Call Number: B H4776ga
Characteristics: vi, 171 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
ISBN: 9780300164978


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Sep 11, 2018

Interesting and somewhat repetitive look at one of the 20th Century's larger than life writers. Not the most flattering portrait of Lillian Hellman. Peter Feibleman's "Lilly," from which Ms. Gallagher quotes, is far deeper, more sympathetic, and better.


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