When one of Lillian Hellman's first bosses asked her, "What are you made of Lilly?" she was quick to retort, "Pickling spice and nothing nice."
Celebrated and feared for her sharp tongue, Lillian Hellman was even better known for her award-winning plays and her uncompromising political activism. When she wrote her autobiography in her seventies, Hellman received raves once again. The New York Times Book Review wrote, "An Unfinished Woman not only shows rare imagination and literary skill, but reveals with an almost sad reluctance the unexpected personal story of a great american playwright."
Hellman revisits the significant episodes of her life, from her childhood in New Orleans and college days in New York to her adventures in book publishing and Hollywood. She also recalls her travels in Spain, Russia, and France in the late 1930s. Whether she is writing about her friendships with Dorothy Parker and Ernest Hemingway or her long complicated love affair with Dashiell Hammett, she does so with a characteristic tough-mindedness that is completely engaging.
About the Author:
Lillian Hellman (1905-1984), was born in New Orleans and spent her life on the world stage as dramatist, author, screenwriter, political activist, and wit. Her first play, The Children's Hour, brought her fame at 28. It was followed by The Little Foxes, Watch on the Rhine, Another Part of the Forest, The Autumn Garden, and Toys in the Attic. The first volume of her autobiography, An Unfinished Woman, won the National Book Award in 1969. Two more volumes of memoirs, Pentimento and Scoundrel Time, followed.