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Pentimento (1973)

by Lillian Hellman

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7131132,197 (3.95)17
A memoir that the author refers to as a book of portraits.

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English (10)  French (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
This was a re-read. I knew I liked the book but couldn't remember much about it except that Dashiell Hammett had been persecuted by Joe McCarthy. Now I know why I liked it. It's a gem. It presents numerous people from Hellman's life -- well drawn but with details missing, as they would be in normal life; we never know everything about another person. Hellman doesn't fill in those gaps. She lets us see for ourselves and judge for ourselves. There are hilarious parts (the condoms!) and wrenching ones (Julia) and intriguing and fascinating parts. This is a wonderful book. ( )
  dvoratreis | May 22, 2024 |
  SueJBeard | Feb 14, 2023 |
Seven autobiographical essays on people and things that deeply influenced twentieth-century American playwright Lillian Hellman's youth.
  JRCornell | Dec 8, 2018 |
I enjoyed this book tremendously. I had no clue as to her background and am fascinated by her stories. Whether or not they are true (this was a kind of memoir) takes backseat to the wonderful descriptions of the characters and the events taking place. I saw the movie "Julia" when it came out, and the movie follows the book fairly closely. It was disheartening to find out that Hellman was accused of using someone else's story (that is events about another real person who had no relationship to Hellman at all) and saying it was about her "friend". Well, aren't all memoirs to some extent "lies" in the end? I looked up the woman in question in Wikipedia, and sure enough, this woman's life mirrors Hellman's "Julia" almost exactly. Coincidence? I'll leave it up to you to judge. Nevertheless, I recommend reading this book, whether she was a liar or not, she is an amazing writer. ( )
  Marse | May 19, 2018 |
Fascinating fictionalized memoir, this book is Hellman's best. Her facility for storytelling obviates the need for exact Truth. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
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Old paint on canvas, as it ages, sometimes becomes transparent.
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A memoir that the author refers to as a book of portraits.

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