Slim: Memories of a Rich and Imperfect Life

Slim Keith, Author, Annette Tapert, With Simon & Schuster $22.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-63164-2
The recently deceased Keith, born Nancy Gross in Salinas, Calif., in 1916, invented her persona as a teenager, growing into a chic woman who became known among the socially elite as Slim. Film director Howard Hawks and Broadway entrepreneur Leland Hayward divorced their wives to marry her; and although she was pursued by the likes of Clark Gable and Ernest Hemingway, the one love of her life, she writes, remained Hayward, who in turn left her for another woman. Her next and last husband was British banker Kenneth Keith, who provided her with a title and whom she left in 1972 after a 10-year marriage. Her ``memoirs of a rich and imperfect life,'' written with freelancer Tapert, is compulsively readable, an account of a determined striving up from the middle class to join the Beautiful People. Keith, a woman of style, is revealed also as boastful and betraying, as a gossiper who spared few friends--the real-life Lady Coolbirth of Truman Capote's infamous Answered Prayers . Photos not seen by PW . First serial to Vanity Fair; Literary Guild alternate. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1990
Release date: 07/01/1990
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-446-36196-5
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