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Beginnings: A Memoir by Horton Foote

Beginnings: A Memoir

by Horton Foote

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743211154, Hardcover)

Playwright Horton Foote's first memoir, Farewell, was saturated in the larger-than-life characters and outsized storytelling of his native Texas. Though Beginnings, his second, lacks panhandle panache, drama lovers will relish Foote's close encounters with many of the most significant names in the American theater during the 1930s and '40s. He studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse and with expatriate members of the Moscow Art Theater. He attended the opening night of The Glass Menagerie as the guest of Tennessee Williams, with whom he exchanged letters and writing tips in the early 1940s, when Foote was working on such early plays as Texas Town. Readers will enjoy Foote's descriptions of an aunt and uncle who mysteriously fail to collect him for Thanksgiving one year in Southern California ("My sister Bo thinks Walt got on a drunk just before Thanksgiving and Mag went off to her children without him," surmises Baboo, his grandmother), and of his appendicitis attack back in Wharton, Texas, where three uncles "not worth killing" made Baboo's life miserable. Foote's description of his forlorn first Christmas and New Year's in New York City in 1935-36 is almost unbearably sad. Thank goodness he meets and marries a wonderful woman, and his plays begin to be produced and favorably reviewed. In prose as unadorned and evocative as his dialogue, Foote adds something fresh to our understanding of the artist as a young man. --Wendy Smith

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:36 -0400)

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