A Difficult Woman

A Difficult Woman

The Challenging Life and Times of Lillian Hellman

Book - 2012 | 1st U.S. ed.
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Lillian Hellman was a giant of twentieth-century letters and a groundbreaking figure as one of the most successful female playwrights on Broadway. Yet the author of "The Little Foxes" and "Toys in the Attic" is today remembered more as a toxic, bitter survivor and literary fabulist, the woman of whom Mary McCarthy said, "Every word she writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the.'" In "A Difficult Woman," renowned historian Alice Kessler-Harris undertakes a feat few would dare to attempt: a reclamation of a combative, controversial woman who straddled so many political and cultural fault lines of her time. Kessler-Harris renders Hellman's feisty wit and personality in all of its contradictions: as a non-Jewish Jew, a displaced Southerner, a passionate political voice without a party, an artist immersed in commerce, a sexually free woman who scorned much of the women's movement, a loyal friend whose trust was often betrayed, and a writer of memoirs who repeatedly questioned the possibility of achieving truth and doubted her memory. Hellman was a writer whose plays spoke the language of morality yet whose achievements foundered on accusations of mendacity. Above all else, she was a woman who made her way in a man's world. Kessler-Harris has crafted a nuanced life of Hellman, empathetic yet unsparing, that situates her in the varied contexts in which she moved, from New Orleans to Broadway to the hearing room of HUAC.
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury Press, 2012.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9781596913639
1596913630
Branch Call Number: 812.52 HEL
Characteristics: 439 p. :,ill. ;,25 cm.

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