Synopses & Reviews
In the spring of 1937, Brooklyn's Daniel Fuchs, twenty-seven years old and already the author of three remarkable novels, came to Hollywood to bang out a treatment of one of his short stories. His thirteen-week contract turned into a permanent residence and a lifelong love affair with the movie business.
Fuchs worked with the best: Warner and M-G-M and RKO, Wilder and Huston and Joe Pasternak, Raft and Cagney and Doris Day. He spent his days crafting screenplays, but off the lot he continued to write prose, mainly stories for Collier's and The New Yorker and non-fiction "Letters from Hollywood" for Commentary.
The Golden West collects, for the first time, the best of Fuchs's writings about studio life, from a novice screenwriter's anxious first impressions (193739) to a fifty-year veteran's mellow memoirs. Fuchs may have loved Hollywood, but his affection didn't blind him to the town's Babylon aspect: he saw life as it is, gold and tinsel both, and described it without falling into easy sentiment or condescending laughter. He was the Chekhov of the back lot, the Bellow of the Brown Derby.
"[A] superb collection....[W]onderfully anecdotal...abounds in glamorous names, and...gives a delicious account of Fuchs's ill-starred collaboration with William Faulkner." Sam Tanenhaus, The New York Times Book Review
"[T]he great strength of The Golden West lies...in Fuchs' simple and direct meditations, unforced by the pressure to fictionalize, on his good luck at finding good work and good friends in a good climate." Richard Schickel, The Los Angeles Times
"A wonderful volume...a very welcome book." David Thomson, The New Republic
"[These stories] are tours de force of surface description and telling detail." Katherine A. Powers, The Boston Sunday Globe
"Fuchs refuses to lose faith that things can be seen, and people's hearts can be known." Forward
"Of all the writers who relocated to Hollywood and stuck it out, Daniel Fuchs was perhaps the most talented." American Book Review
About the Author
Daniel Fuchs was born in New York City in 1909. He published four novels and dozens of short stories, memoirs, and essays. He also wrote screenplays, and in 1955 received an Academy Award for his original story for Love Me or Leave Me. He died in Los Angeles in 1993.