Synopses & Reviews
(1911–1985) was born into a Jewish family in Whitechapel, London, though his father, a barber, trained violinist, and sometime bookie, moved the family to New York when Hayes was three. After attending City College, Hayes worked as a reporter for the New York American
and Daily Mirror
and began to publish poetry, including “Joe Hill,” about the legendary labor organizer, which was later set to music by the composer Earl Robinson and recorded by Joan Baez. During World War II Hayes was assigned to a special services unit in Italy; after the war he stayed on in Rome, where he contributed to the story development and scripts of several classic Italian neorealist films, including Roberto Rossellini’s Paisà
(1946) and Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves
(1948), and gathered material for two popular novels, All Thy Conquests
(1946) and The Girl on the Via Flaminia
(1949), the latter the basis for the 1953 film Act of Love
, starring Kirk Douglas. In the late 1940s Hayes went to work in Hollywood, writing screenplays for Clash by Night
, A Hatful of Rain
, The Left Hand of God
, Joy in the Morning
, and Fritz Lang’s Human Desire
, as well as scripts for television. Hayes was the author of seven novels, a collection of stories, and three volumes of poetry. In addition to In Love
, NYRB Classics publishes My Face for the World to See
Frederic Raphael is a screenwriter, playwright, novelist, translator, and critic. His screenwriting credits include Darling (for which he won an Oscar), Far from the Madding Crowd, Two for the Road, and, with the director Stanley Kubrick, Eyes Wide Shut.
Alfred Hayes is one of the secret masters of mid-twentieth-century American fiction, a journalist and scriptwriter and poet who possessed an immaculate ear for prose and wrote two perfect short novels about passion and its payback.
In Love is a New York story of anonymous people looking for recognition and consolation in the arms of strangers who only grow stranger. A man tells his story to a woman in a bar, a story about another woman: early married and divorced, with a child living with her parents. They go out, they grow close, but he has his work and his own life and concerns and keeps a distance from her even as he goes on seeing her, that is, until the day when, out dancing, she meets a gawky businessman, himself wounded in love, who offers her a thousand dollars to go home with him. And now the narrator discovers that he is as much in love with her as she is with him, perhaps more, though it will take him a while to realize just how utterly lost he is.
New York in the 1950s. A man on a barstool is telling a story about a woman he met in a bar, early married and soon divorced, her child farmed out to her parents, good-looking, if a little past her prime. They’d gone out, they’d grown close, but as far as he was concerned it didn’t add up to much. He was a busy man. Then one day, out dancing, she runs into a rich awkward lovelorn businessman. He’ll pay for her to be his, pay her a lot. And now the narrator discovers that he is as much in love with her as she is with him, perhaps more, though it will take him a while to realize just how utterly lost he is.
Executed with the cool smoky brilliance of a classic Miles Davis track, In Love is an unequaled exploration of the tethered—and untethered—heart.
About the Author
Alfred Hayes (1911–1985) was an American journalist, poet, screenwriter, and novelist. Having served in Italy during World War II, he stayed on to co-write several classic Italian neorealist films, including Roberto Rossellini’s Paisà
and Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves
, as well as to gather material for his two most popular novels, All Thy Conquests
and The Girl on the Via Flaminia
(the basis for the 1953 film Act of Love
, starring Kirk Douglas). In the late 1940s he went to work in Hollywood for Warner Brothers, RKO, and Twentieth Century-Fox, where his screenplays included Clash by Night
, A Hatful of Rain
, The Left Hand of God
, and Joy in the Morning
. His later novels included In Love
, My Face for the World to See
, and The End of Me
Frederic Raphael (b. 1931) is a prolific and wide-ranging author of screenplays and plays, novels and short stories, essays and reviews, histories and translations, and more. Born in Chicago and educated in England, he graduated from St. John’s College, Cambridge, before becoming a full-time writer. His screenwriting credits include Darling (for which he won an Oscar), Far from the Madding Crowd, Two for the Road, and, with the director Stanley Kubrick, Eyes Wide Shut.