Love Goes to Press: A Comedy in Three Acts

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9780803221543: Love Goes to Press: A Comedy in Three Acts

Written immediately after the war, Love Goes to Press opened in London in June 1946 and in New York in January 1947. Then a relief for the survivors of Blitzkrieg and ration cards, it is now a devilishly entertaining portrayal of the Battle of the Sexes. This romantic farce, published here for the first time, is set on the Italian front in World War II, where two women war correspondents—smart, sexy, and famous for scooping their male competitors—struggle to balance their professional lives with their love lives. The American literary tradition is rife with stories of “men without women,” but in Love Goes to Press Gellhorn and Cowles have created a world of “women without men.” The plot focuses on a pair of daring, quick-witted female buddies in bold pursuit of accomplishment and adventure while narrowly eluding the entanglements of marriage and domesticity. In her six-decade career as a war correspondent, Martha Gellhorn has covered the Spanish Civil War, World War II, and wars in Vietnam, the Middle East, and Central America. (In 1990, at the age of 81, she interrupted a snorkeling trip to Belize to witness the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Panama; her report appeared in Granta.) Gellhorn has published fifteen books, including eight novels, short fiction, and two collections of journalistic articles.

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About the Author:

Virginia Spencer Cowles (1912–1983) also began her career as a war correspondent, and her eyewitness accounts of Europe at war appear in her book, Looking for Trouble, a bestseller of 1941. She went on to write eleven more books of nonfiction. Sandra Spanier is an associate professor of English at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln; her afterword situates the play in its cultural context and in Gellhorn’s career.

From Booklist:

Written on a lark by a pair of veteran war correspondents who had never written a play before but had time on their hands in the months after the end of World War II, this marvelously witty farce enjoyed a long, healthy run in London's West End but died on Broadway after a mere four-day run. It garnered an impressive array of blistering reviews that accused it of being everything from "callous" to "frivolous" to "a libel on the profession" of journalism. Nearly 50 years later, after Catch-22 and M*A*S*H, it seems pretty innocuous, though much of its humor remains fresh and lively. Semiautobiographical, the comedy concerns a pair of female correspondents who brave World War II, outdo their male colleagues, yet remain torn between their profession and the tugs upon their heartstrings. Especially noteworthy is the play's remarkably unglamorous view of life in wartime, particularly of the conditions in which wartime journalists lived and wrote. Jack Helbig

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Gellhorn, Martha, Cowles, Virginia
Published by University of Nebraska Press (1995)
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Martha Gellhorn, Virginia Cowles, Sandra Spanier (Editor)
Published by University of Nebraska Press (1995)
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