Huxley in Hollywood

David King Dunaway, Author HarperCollins Publishers $24.95 (458p) ISBN 978-0-06-039095-2
In this well-researched, clumsily written, gossipy socio-cultural-literary compendium, Dunaway (biographer of Pete Seeger) describes the 26 years that noted British writer Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) lived in the U.S., during which he produced 19 books and several film scripts, studied Oriental religions, was exposed to exotic therapies, took mescaline, exercised his eyes to recover from near-total blindness, advocated pacifism and lectured widely. During this time also, Huxley's first wife died of cancer, his house, books and manuscripts were destroyed in a fire and, finally, he himself died of cancer. Dunaway devotes as much space, and even more gossip, to the Hollywood of the time and to Huxley's friends--Gerald Heard and Christopher Isherwood, Charlie Chaplin and Paulette Goddard, Anita Loos, Edwin Hubble and Igor Stravinsky--and to naming who was or was not a lesbian, as he does to the eminent writer; and it is probably the gossip, rather than the more serious discussion of Huxley's books and ideas, that will attract a readership. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Paperback - 496 pages - 978-0-385-41591-0
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