Cover image for Fumblefinger : a life out of line
Fumblefinger : a life out of line
Hart, Stan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chestnut Hill, Mass. : Abeel Publishers, 1999.
Physical Description:
350 pages ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


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Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
CT275.H38675 A3 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Having come of age in the era between the Great Depression and late 60's, assess the prejudices, vulnerabilities, and beliefs of well-to-do WASPS.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

A former editor at Little, Brown, Hart lays bare the dark currents swirling beneath his privileged life. The writing here is plain, but Hart makes up for that with an unusual degree of candor and with some juicy publishing world gossip from yesteryear. Afflicted with a severe stammer from childhood, which he finally eliminated through psychoanalysis at age 32, Hart feared and venerated his aloof father, a decorated WWI veteran and wealthy Connecticut heating-vent manufacturer, who mockingly called him a "fumblefinger." Hart's mother, stricken with multiple sclerosis, slid into alcoholism and opiate addiction, and his parents' vitriolic fights were exacerbated by his father's philandering. To disprove his moniker, Hart affected bravado, dropping out of Wesleyan in 1950 to join the Air Force and having numerous sexual affairs, which he relates in graphic, sometimes tedious detail. At 24, not ready for marriage, he walked out on his pregnant girlfriend; the daughter born of their union died in infancy, in care of the state. Hart remained an "emotional escape artist," burying his feelings beneath workaholism, grandiosity and alcoholism, which ultimately caused him to lose his wife and two children. While at Little, Brown in 1966-67, Hart, then 36, had an affair with one of his famous authorsÄplaywright Lillian Hellman, then in her 60s. His very unsentimental, almost brutal account of their dalliance caps this tell-all, which breaks off in 1968. Though Hart appears to intend his memoir to be a cautionary tale of alcoholism, he never really comes to terms with his inner demons in these hectic pages. Perhaps it's that lack of resolutionÄso different from memoirs written from a stance of inner peaceÄthat makes this book as gripping as it is. Photos not seen by PW. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved