Timebends: A Life

Arthur Miller, Author Grove/Atlantic $24.95 (614p) ISBN 978-0-8021-0015-3
America's most famous living playwright (All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, Incident at Vichy, etc.) here does with his life story what nature does with rock strata, folding it back on itself to achieve the effects of many-layered richness and simultaneity that he aims for in his plays. It's a life as remarkable for its commitment as its achievement. Growing up on the edge of Harlem in the '20s and '30s, the son of a successful but semiliterate coat manufacturer, Miller discovered both his vocation and his leftist political convictions during the Depression and the rise of fascism. He achieved a moral victory against McCarthyism in the '50s; and it was under his presidency that PEN went from an ineffectual literary club to a real force for international freedom of expression. While covering these events, Miller traces the genesis of his plays in his life experience, provides vivid portraits of a host of notables in the worlds of theater, cinema and politics, including Elia Kazan, Lee and Paula Strasberg, John Huston, Clark Gable, Sir Laurence Olivier, John F. Kennedy and Mikhail Gorbachev, and a detailed, deeply touching one of his second wife, Marilyn Monroe, who finally slipped from his reach. Tough, compassionate, bristling with intelligence and profound reflections on the dramas of life and stage, this is one of the memorable autobiographies of our time. Photos. BOMC selection. (November 16)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Paperback - 978-0-06-097178-6
Hardcover - 614 pages - 978-0-413-41480-9
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-14-086306-2
Paperback - 614 pages - 978-0-413-77340-1
Paperback - 8 pages - 978-0-14-024917-0
Paperback - 587 pages - 978-84-8383-272-1
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