Sarah

Joel Gross, Author William Morrow & Company $0 (340p) ISBN 978-0-688-06703-8
In his author's note to this overlong fictional biography of Parisian actress Sarah Bernhardt, Gross explains that he here connects ""the facts of her life to the strength of her legend.'' Idolized by turn-of-the-century fans, who were at the same time outraged by her scandalous behavior, the Divine Sarah was, indeed, larger than life. But Gross imagines for us a life-size Saraha woman disappointed in love by her mother, lovers and friends, and soothed, Gross theorizes, only by applause. This insight, though reasonable, is overworked as the narrative's single theme. If Gross had devoted fewer pages to Sarah's unrequited passions and focused his plain, frank prose more on her significant theatrical accomplishments, this would have been a faster-paced and more engrossing tale. On the other hand, Gross (Spirit in the Flesh presents an educated look at turn-of-the-century politics, Paris and the theater, as well as an appealing, if superficial, portrait of a legendary actress. (August 17)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-380-70277-0
Paperback - 360 pages - 978-0-595-43715-3
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