An unfinished woman : a memoir / by Lillian Hellman.Material type: TextPublisher: Boston : Little, Brown and Company, 1969Edition: First editionDescription: 280 pages : illustrations ; 25 cmSubject(s): Hellman, Lillian, 1905-1984 | Women and literature -- United States -- History -- 20th century | Dramatists, American -- 20th century -- BiographyDDC classification: 812/.52 | B LOC classification: PS 3515.E343 | Z5 1969Online resources: Click here to access alternate edition online
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|BOOKS||Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library General Stacks||PS 3515.E343 Z5 1969 (Browse shelf)||Not For Loan||NPML20080045|
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"The plays of Lillian Hellman [...] speak eloquently for themselves and for Miss Hellman's life in the theatre. An Unfinished Woman speaks for her life in the world outside. It is in no sense a predictable theatrical memoir. Instead, she offers a detailed, unsparing self-scrutiny and a passionate, sometimes comic, always candid account of her experience, whether in New York, New Orleans and Hollywood, in Spain during the Civil War, or in Moscow and Leningrad during the Second World War and twenty years later. As this book makes clear, since childhood she has hated hypocrisy and refused to settle for soft answers, least of all from herself. The qualities she values most — that, in effect, she has been in search of — are courage, loyalty, and integrity, and she has found them in some of her closest relationships. Writing of herself as she was in her mid-twenties, aimless, discontented, and in want of occupation, Miss Hellman remarks, 'I needed a teacher, a cool teacher, who would not be impressed or disturbed by a strange and difficult girl. I was to meet him, but not for another four or five years.' That man was to be Dashiell Hammett; and their extraordinary relationship, which continued for almost thirty years until his death in 1961, was central in her life, as it is in this deeply felt and personal memoir. In its later pages Miss Hellman includes a warm but unsentimental portrait of her old friend Dorothy Parker; a revealing chapter on her childhood nurse and her recently deceased housekeeper — two black women who profoundly influenced her life; and a moving description of Hammett in his later years and how their lives evolved as he wasted away from emphysema and cancer. Miss Hellman is an artist whose horizons have always extended beyond the stage and its gossip: as an artist and individual her need has been for someplace else to go. Her life has led her through many of the great events of our times and involved her intimately with countless persons, some famous, others unknown, caught up like herself in history. The alternation of public and private concerns forms the basis of a book that calls upon all Miss Hellman's formidable powers of intellect, imagination and style. Only incidentally a memoir of the playwright, it is chiefly and unforgettably a memoir of the woman who wrote the plays." -- from the dust jacket.