Cover image for Understanding Lillian Hellman
Understanding Lillian Hellman
Griffin, Alice, 1924-
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Publication Information:
Columbia : University of South Carolina Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiii, 168 pages ; 19 cm.
Editor's preface -- Preface -- Acknowledgments -- Abbreviations -- Career -- The children's hour -- Another part of the forest and The little foxes -- Watch on the Rhine -- The autumn garden -- Toys in the attic -- An unfinished woman and Pentimento -- Scoundrel time -- Maybe -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index.
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Call Number
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PS3515.E343 Z69 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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In this study of Lillian Hellman's career, the authors examine the major works of this pre-eminent woman playwright and memoirist. They draw out how Hellman polarised people's opinions - to some anathema, to others, heroine.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Griffin and Thorsten's lucid, up-to-date resource on the career and writings of Lillian Hellman examines six of Hellman's plays and four of her memoirs. The authors (both CUNY) call attention to Hellman's gift of humor, irony, satire, and--most important--concern for moral issues. Their analysis of Watch on the Rhine is a case in point. They also offer fresh perspectives on Hellman's better-known The Children's Hour and The Little Foxes. Hellman's memoirs receive far better treatment than other critics have given them. The narratives examine Hellman's efforts in addressing women's issues, including dependence and self-doubt. Furthermore, the volume suggests Hellman's style influenced both Miller and Williams and created the necessary first step for today's women writers. The authors meant this volume not as a detailed analysis of Hellman's work but as an introduction; in this they succeed. The first chapter provides a brief analysis of Hellman's life and career. The Hellman entry is clearly up to the standards already established in the "Understanding Contemporary American Literature" series, which offers balanced and in-depth examinations of important US writer. All collections. M. D. Whitlatch; Buena Vista University