Entry for April 18, 2007

This 1947 photo by Irving Penn of playwright Lillian Hellman (1905-1984) is from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and appears, of all places, at the George H.W. Bush presidential library site in an exhibit, Woman of Our Time.

Book group tonight at Sig Davidson’s: An Unfinished Woman, the first of three memoirs by Lillian Helman.

The original NYT book review is here. In 2005, Deborah Martinson (email) at Occidental College published a positive biography, Lillian Hellman: A Life with Foxes and Scoundrels. Martin had served researcher for the PBS biography: The Lives of Lillian Hellman, directed by Phillip Schopper. Another of her books, In the Presence of Audience: Shaping of Self in Diaries and Fiction (Ohio State UP, 2003), explores the literary and autobiographical work of Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, Violet Hunt and Doris Lessing. Another biographer, Carl Rollyson, who detests Hellman’s “stalinist sympathies,’ panned the book in hisreview for the New York Sun.

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