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With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together

Davis, Ossie; Dee, Ruby

86 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0688153968 / ISBN 13: 9780688153960
Published by William Morrow, New York, 1998
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Owl & Company Bookshop (Calvello Books) (Oakland, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Octavo in black and brown board in black dust jacket with gold spine; illus.; 476 pp., 25 cm. In English. || Inscribed by authors. Fine copy in near fine dust jacket with faintest edge and shelfwear (barely noticeable); very light wear to spine ends of boards; o/w clean, bright, tight copy with bright pages; a well-cared for copy. First edition, first printing (full number line). Bookseller Inventory # 85671

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Bibliographic Details

Title: With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together

Publisher: William Morrow, New York

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: near fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee are legendary stars of the American stage, television, and film, a beloved and revered couple cherished not just for their acting artistry but also for their lifelong commitment to civil rights, family values, and the black community. Now they look back on a half- century of their personal and political struggles to maintain a healthy marriage and to create the record of distinguished accomplishment that earned each a Presidential Medal for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts.

With Ossie and Ruby overflows with consummate storytelling skill developed by decades in the spotlight. From their early years as struggling actors in Harlem's black theater to Broadway and Hollywood stardom, they regale the reader with colorful, entertaining tales of the places they've been and the people they've met. But their charming humor is leavened with a more serious side, as they share their experiences of keeping a family together in a world where scandal and divorce is the rule, and of being artists and political activists in an era of intense racial ferment. Born into the struggle, their characters were shaped by the dynamic collisions of life, politics, and art; and from those experiences, they achieved some sense of their worth as married people, friends, and lovers.

Warm, positive, and compelling, this is a book that will surprise and challenge readers everywhere -- black and white, male and female, young and old. Lifting the veil of public image, media hype, and mystique, Ossie and Ruby speak of the real-life dilemmas and rewards of their lifelong search for purpose and value.


Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee met in 1945, when they were both performing in the same play on Broadway; Davis, resuming an acting career that had been interrupted by a World War II tour of duty in Liberia, was cast as the male lead, while Dee was originally hired as understudy to the female lead and soon found herself taking over the part. Three years later, still working together, they took advantage of a rehearsal-free day in their schedule to get married--and have been together through thick and thin ever since.

Trading turns with one another, Davis and Dee discuss the high and low points of more than a half century in each other's company. With Ossie & Ruby has enough stories for at least three books, covering the world of stage and film, the history of the civil rights movement, and the endurance of love and marriage. Their telling, in alternating first-person narration, is unflinching in its portrayal of the hardships they endured for being black-skinned and "left-wing" political activists--and equally firm in their continued dedication. This is a first-rate memoir by a man and a woman--each with a thriving career--who have collaborated to form a union even greater than the sum of its parts.

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