Cover image for Woody Allen : a biography
Woody Allen : a biography
Lax, Eric.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1991.
Physical Description:
385 pages, 16 pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN2287.A53 L325 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PN2287.A53 L325 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Biography

On Order



Few celebrities are as instantly recognizable as Woody Allen. Few are as notoriously shy. And perhaps none are as elusive: Is Woody Allen a comedian who wants to be taken seriously? Or is he a serious artist whose films happen to be funny? The very fact that Eric Lax was granted access to Woody for four years in order to research this biography must be counted as a triumph. And what Lax has produced is a marvel of intimacy and insight: a book that traces Allen's career from his precocious start as a gag writer to his apotheosis as a genuine auteur; a book that takes readers behind the scenes of films such as Annie Hall, Hannah and Her Sisters, and Crimes and Misdemeanors; a book that overflows with Woody's candid opinions of his work, his personal relationships, and his life. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

A feast for fans, this biography leans heavily on Woody Allen's own comments, interwoven verbatim with a shrewd, disarming portrait of an artist who feels ``enormously alienated from other people.'' Lax ( On Being Funny: Woody Allen and Comedy ) is especially good on Allen's early years as New York University film school flunk-out, his transformation from stand-up comic to director, his influences (Mort Sahl, Camus, Odets, S. J. Perelman, et al.) and the recycling of his personal life into specific films. Lax is less revealing, however, when discussing the filmmaker's two marriages and 11-year relationship with Mia Farrow or the inner forces that drive him. Devotees will enjoy the behind-the-scenes glimpses of movies being written and shot. Photos. 50,000 first printing; BOMC alternate. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

After years of following Allen, Lax ( On Being Funny: Woody Allen and Comedy , LJ 5/15/75) offers a definitive biography of the multi-talented phenomenon. He delineates Allen's history, emphasizing the development of his creative personality while tracing his adolescent interest in magic (which later developed into an obsession with the ``magic'' of cinema). He shows how the artist disciplined himself to become one of the most respected minds in comedy, and one of America's top film directors. He lists comprehensive source references to show where Allen modeled a particular sensibility from, and includes interesting quips from the sources. Recommended for popular as well as serious film and comedy collections. BOMC alternate; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/90.-- Mike Tierno, New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

YA-- At age 16, Allan Konigsberg's jokes began to appear in the columns of noted New York newspaper writers, and Woody Allen was born. The one-liners grew into jokes for radio personalities, sketches for TV performers, routines for comics, and material for his own stand-up comedy appearances. His major work now is film, in which he is in complete artistic control. Lax's liking and admiration for his subject comes across well, and YAs interested in Allen's life and career will find a wealth of well-documented information, quotes, and excerpts from scripts. The five major sections of this funny and fascinating work are not for browsing, but should be read as units. A drawback for YAs is the poor index, which hinders quick searching for facts. --Judy Sokoll, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.