The Girls: Sappho Goes to Hollywood [NOOK Book]

Overview

Diana McLellan reveals the complex and intimate connections that roiled behind the public personae of Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Tallulah Bankhead, and the women who loved them. Private correspondence, long-secret FBI files, and troves of unpublished documents reveal a chain of lesbian affairs that moved from the theater world of New York, through the heights of chic society, to embed itself in the power structure of the movie business. The...
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The Girls: Sappho Goes to Hollywood

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Overview

Diana McLellan reveals the complex and intimate connections that roiled behind the public personae of Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Tallulah Bankhead, and the women who loved them. Private correspondence, long-secret FBI files, and troves of unpublished documents reveal a chain of lesbian affairs that moved from the theater world of New York, through the heights of chic society, to embed itself in the power structure of the movie business. The Girls serves up a rich stew of film, politics, sexuality, psychology, and stardom.

“An entertaining ramble through the date-books and diaries of movie-business women from the silent era until the 1950s … breezy … mercifully free of theorizing …revealing a fascinating subterranean world.” – New York Times Book Review

“For a film buff, this book is hard to put down…” – USA Today

“[R]efreshingly clear-headed, intelligent and frequently very funny … the fullest guide anyone could possibly want to the hectic Excuse-me of exotic female partnerships and sunderings in Hollywood …” – Daily Mail

“[A] helluva book” – New York Post

“[S]aucily written … a cohesive analysis of the relationships between sexuality, feminism and power in the film industry … an astute eye for psychological detail and a fine sense of industry power plays … McLellan’s investigations …bring a broader context to a new sense of scholarship to the subject …” – Publisher’s Weekly

“[R]acy and pacy … sparkling …” – The Guardian

“[E]xpect to revel in the naughtiness … and be surprised by the connections McLellan is able to make …” – Baltimore Sun

“Risque scandals, sizzling secrets … Sex, politics, secrets and lies … Diana McLellan connects the dots …” – Washington Times

“[A] tempting book … swirling narrative and Byzantine romantic configurations …” –Washington Post

“[A]n exciting excursion into a world that was glamorous as it was repressive …McLellan’s research was clearly a labor of love. Resisting romanticization on one hand and sensationalism on the other, she captures the style, courage, and outrageousness of a lesbian world, now vanished, that deserves to be remembered” – The Gay and Lesbian Review

“… a hoot and a compelling read.” – The Advocate

“[F]ascinating, well-constructed and extremely funny …[a] riveting book … top-notch tales … highly informative … keeps the reader laughing all the way to Burbank…” – The Spectator
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940148301448
  • Publisher: Booktrope
  • Publication date: 12/16/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 506
  • Sales rank: 71,399
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Writer, critic, author, and poet Diana McLellan made her bones as a Washington reporter, feature writer, magazine journalist, columnist, critic and editor. (Penney-Missouri Award, Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild Front Page Award for humor; Pulitzer nominee.) She spent ten years as a gossip columnist, “The Ear,” for the Washington Star, Post and Times, sequentially. She is the author of Ear On Washington, Arbor House, 1982, Making Hay, a 2012 book of poems, and, most notably, The Girls: Sappho Goes to Hollywood. She spent several years as Washington editor of Washingtonian magazine, a Washington correspondent for the Ladies’ Home Journal, and feature writer for the Sunday magazines of papers like the London Times, Telegraph and Mail. She had a longago weekly spot on Maury Povich’s innocent old Washington show, Panorama, and appeared regularly on t he CBS Morning News with Charles Kuralt. She writes an occasional book review. McLellan lives in Washington DC with her historian husband, Richard McLellan.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2014

    How was I supposed to resist a title like that? This is the alle

    How was I supposed to resist a title like that? This is the allegedly true, research-based story of Hollywood's two most famous LGBTQIA actresses of the 1930s, Ms. Greta Garbo and Ms. Marlene Dietrich. Neither woman self-identified as lesbian, bisexual, or pansexual during her lifetime, so I have to state for the record that it's a bit unfair for me to label them after their deaths, when they lived in a very different world than we do now. However, there is ample evidence to support that both women had ongoing romantic relationships with women and men. Dietrich's affairs seem to fit the bi/pan label more closely - she didn't seem to have much of a preference either way - while Garbo seems to have had a preference for women over men. 

    I found this book absolutely fascinating. You'll probably enjoy it if you're interested in Old Hollywood history, women's history, and/or LGBTQIA history. Some of McLellan's sources are a bit dubious, but that's the nature of the beast when you're trying to uncover the history of something that was deliberately kept hidden. As the World War II era gave way to the 1950s, people in Hollywood had to worry about being associated with Communism. That gave them another reason to obscure and hide some of their past relationships, as well as the cultural swing that was becoming even more repressive of gay, lesbian, and bisexual sexuality. The 1950s were the golden age of the closet. 

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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