Lilly: Reminiscences of Lillian Hellman

Peter Feibleman, Author
Peter Feibleman, Author William Morrow & Company $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-06188-3
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
A New Orleans novelist ( Charlie Boy , etc.), who is Lillian Hellman's literary executor, recalls his 43-year friendship with the playwright, from the time he was 10 to the day in 1984 when, at age 79 and hospitalized, she died while her neck was being massaged by a nurse. Feibleman lovingly depicts their early relationship, sharing her Martha's Vineyard house, their becoming writing companions and lovers (despite the 26-year age difference), Hellman's constant anger, impatience and sharp tongue. He records her insistence on honesty while, at the same time, he acknowledges thatok? ``she was not dependent on fact: a simple thing like lack of evidence was never a deterrent to a mind as open to speculation as Lilly's.'' Elizabeth Taylor, among others quoted here, came to realize that ``beneath all Lillian's anger and willfulness was a great clumsy glob of innocence you couldn't help but trust.'' Thus even those who have gleefully boarded the anti-Hellman bandwagon may be moved by Feibleman's sensitive, perceptive recollections of a proud, vulnerable woman whom he regarded as a great lady and an admirable human being. Photos not seen by PW. First serial to Interview magazine; BOMC alternate. (September)
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