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Original Essays | July 24, 2014

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Lillian Hellman: An Imperious Life (Jewish Lives)


Lillian Hellman: An Imperious Life (Jewish Lives) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Glamorous, talented, audacious—Lillian Hellman knew everyone, did everything, had been everywhere. By the age of twenty-nine she had written The Childrens Hour, the first of four hit Broadway plays, and soon she was considered a member of Americas first rank of dramatists, a position she maintained for more than twenty-five years. Apart from her literary accomplishments—eight original plays and three volumes of memoirs—Hellman 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.
Dorothy Gallagher confronts the conundrum that was Lillian Hellman—a woman with a capacity to inspire outrage as often as admiration. Exploring Hellmans leftist politics, her Jewish and Southern background, and her famous testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee, Gallagher also undertakes a new reading of Hellmans 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.


A fresh look at Hellmans restless life, her extraordinary plays, and her autobiographical myths

About the Author

Dorothy Gallagher is the author of Hannah's Daughters and All the Right Enemies: The Life and Murder of Carlo Tresca, and two volumes of memoirs. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, and Grand Street. She lives in New York City.

Product Details

Gallagher, Dorothy
Yale University Press
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Jewish Lives
Publication Date:
1 b/w illus.
8.25 x 5.5 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Plays
Biography » Entertainment and Performing Arts
Biography » Literary
Biography » Religious
Biography » Women
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics

Lillian Hellman: An Imperious Life (Jewish Lives) Used Hardcover
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Product details 184 pages Yale University Press - English 9780300164978 Reviews:
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A fresh look at Hellmans restless life, her extraordinary plays, and her autobiographical myths
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