Leaving Home: A Hollywood Blacklisted Writer’s Years Abroad

Anne Edwards. Scarecrow, $29.95 (248p) ISBN 978-0-8108-8199-0
During the McCarthy era, Edwards (whose Early Reagan: The Rise of an American Hero was nominated for a Pulitzer) fled to Europe, along with numerous other Hollywood writers who suffered persecution. From 1954 until the early 1970s, Edwards raised her two children and wrote under an assumed name. Though the majority of the narrative focuses on her years abroad, Edwards deftly weaves in her fascinating family history. From an early age, the author was immersed in the Hollywood environment. At 17, Edwards wrote a standout high school play, landing her a position as a junior writer for Metro Goldwyn Mayer studio in Hollywood. Her uncle owned the famous Chasen’s restaurant, frequented by the writers and actors of the movie industry. Her extended family included notables such as W.C. Fields, James Stewart, Frank Capra, and John Barrymore. She resided in London, Switzerland, and the South of France before returning home. Edwards lards her lush memoir with scrumptious details recalling the locations she lived, her romances, and encounters with celebrities. Yet she never neglects the meat of her story—the devastating effect of blacklisting on her life and other McCarthy-era expatriates. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/21/2012
Release date: 08/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
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