Seeing Mary Plain: A Life of Mary McCarthy

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9780393323078: Seeing Mary Plain: A Life of Mary McCarthy
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A revealing portrait of the dramatic life of writer and intellectual Mary McCarthy.

From her Partisan Review days to her controversial success as the author of The Group, to an epic libel battle with Lillian Hellman, Mary McCarthy brought a nineteenth-century scope and drama to her emblematic twentieth-century life. Dubbed by Time as "quite possibly the cleverest woman America has ever produced," McCarthy moved in a circle of ferociously sharp-tongued intellectuals―all of whom had plenty to say about this diamond in their midst. Frances Kiernan's biography does justice to one of the most controversial American intellectuals of the twentieth century. With interviews from dozens of McCarthy's friends, former lovers, literary and political comrades-in-arms, awestruck admirers, amused observers, and bitter adversaries, Seeing Mary Plain is rich in ironic judgment and eloquent testimony. A Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2000 and a Washington Post Book World "Rave".
20 pages of b/w photographs

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"To see Mary McCarthy plain is not quite so simple as it sounds," writes Frances Kiernan, a comment amply borne out in her many-faceted biography of one of America's most famous and controversial women of letters. Interspersing her narrative and analysis of McCarthy's life (1912-1989) with lengthy direct quotes from the writer's friends, lovers, colleagues, and enemies, Kiernan tries to blend the depth of a critical biography with the immediacy of oral history. The mixture doesn't always quite gel, but McCarthy's forceful personality emerges with intimacy and pungency from the chorus of disparate opinions. Her character was formed by her parents' early deaths, a miserable childhood redeemed by intellectual stardom in school, and scads of poorly judged sexual entanglements (including a ghastly seven years wed to Edmund Wilson) that ended only with her happy fourth marriage. There's little in McCarthy's life that isn't already familiar to readers of her fiction, from The Company She Keeps to The Group, and her liberal political convictions are also a matter of record, not least from her own journalism and essays. Kiernan's achievement is to reveal a woman best known for her slashing intellect and feared for her ferocious critical judgments as very human and surprisingly vulnerable. --Wendy Smith

About the Author:

A former editor at The New Yorker, Frances Kiernan is the author of Seeing Mary Plain: A Life of Mary McCarthy. She lives in New York City.

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. From her Partisan Review days to her controversial success as the author of The Group, to an epic libel battle with Lillian Hellman, Mary McCarthy brought a nineteenth-century scope and drama to her emblematic twentieth-century life. Dubbed by Time as quite possibly the cleverest woman America has ever produced, McCarthy moved in a circle of ferociously sharp-tongued intellectuals-all of whom had plenty to say about this diamond in their midst. Frances Kiernan s biography does justice to one of the most controversial American intellectuals of the twentieth century. With interviews from dozens of McCarthy s friends, former lovers, literary and political comrades-in-arms, awestruck admirers, amused observers, and bitter adversaries, Seeing Mary Plain is rich in ironic judgment and eloquent testimony. A Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2000 and a Washington Post Book World Rave . Seller Inventory # APC9780393323078

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.From her Partisan Review days to her controversial success as the author of The Group, to an epic libel battle with Lillian Hellman, Mary McCarthy brought a nineteenth-century scope and drama to her emblematic twentieth-century life. Dubbed by Time as quite possibly the cleverest woman America has ever produced, McCarthy moved in a circle of ferociously sharp-tongued intellectuals-all of whom had plenty to say about this diamond in their midst. Frances Kiernan s biography does justice to one of the most controversial American intellectuals of the twentieth century. With interviews from dozens of McCarthy s friends, former lovers, literary and political comrades-in-arms, awestruck admirers, amused observers, and bitter adversaries, Seeing Mary Plain is rich in ironic judgment and eloquent testimony. A Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2000 and a Washington Post Book World Rave . Seller Inventory # APC9780393323078

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Book Description W. W. Norton & Company. Paperback. Condition: New. 848 pages. Dimensions: 9.2in. x 6.1in. x 1.5in.A revealing portrait of the dramatic life of writer and intellectual Mary McCarthy. From her Partisan Review days to her controversial success as the author of The Group, to an epic libel battle with Lillian Hellman, Mary McCarthy brought a nineteenth-century scope and drama to her emblematic twentieth-century life. Dubbed by Time as quite possibly the cleverest woman America has ever produced, McCarthy moved in a circle of ferociously sharp-tongued intellectualsall of whom had plenty to say about this diamond in their midst. Frances Kiernans biography does justice to one of the most controversial American intellectuals of the twentieth century. With interviews from dozens of McCarthys friends, former lovers, literary and political comrades-in-arms, awestruck admirers, amused observers, and bitter adversaries, Seeing Mary Plain is rich in ironic judgment and eloquent testimony. A Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2000 and a Washington Post Book World Rave. 20 pages of bw photographs This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780393323078

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