Writing Dangerously

Writing Dangerously

A Critical Biography of Mary McCarthy

Book - 1992
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Baker & Taylor
Drawing on a series of interviews with McCarthy, as well as a collection of her letters and papers, this biography provides new insights into the life and innovative work of one of America's premier authors

Blackwell North Amer
Mary McCarthy has played a remarkable and hugely controversial role in the intellectual life of our times. More than any other American writer, she has made its core ideas and many of its secrets the subject of her fiction and criticism; yet neither the drama of her own life nor the precise nature of her literary achievement has been seriously considered until now. Nor has McCarthy herself, in her memoirs, told the whole story.
In this ground-breaking biography, Carol Brightman probes both the public and private reaches of McCarthy's career and re-creates the pivotal scenes in her development as a fiercely independent woman and writer. With its recreation of life among the literati in New York, Wellfleet, Paris, Rome, and Castine, Maine, and lively portraits of fellow intellectuals, most notably Hannah Arendt, along with its renditions of the historic events that absorbed McCarthy's generation - the Moscow trials, McCarthyism and the Cold War, Vietnam - Writing Dangerously is literary biography at its finest. The book also explores how the literary enterprise was practiced by a generation whose aspirations and anxieties still shape the way we think about politics and literature.
A brilliant stylist and memoirist, McCarthy produced essays, political commentary, and nine works of fiction, including The Group, the best-selling novel whose intimate details about her Vassar classmates foreshadowed women's fiction today. Her Memories of a Catholic Girlhood has become an American classic.
Mary McCarthy was first introduced to New York literary circles in 1937 as a theatre critic for the new Partisan Review and the striking girlfriend of its editor, Philip Rahv. As the years passed, she became an electrifying presence among New York and European intellectuals, renowned for her wit, intelligence, and respect for truth, but also for a merciless candor whose sting is still felt today. A lifelong moral struggle between duty and desire led to innumerable lovers and four husbands, including a tempestuous marriage to Edmund Wilson.
Carol Brightman - who, like McCarthy, was raised a Catholic, graduated from Vassar, visited North Vietnam - was granted extensive and candid interviews with her subject. Mary McCarthy's life is a mine of paradox and provocation; Brightman is the first biographer to unravel the strands of this fascinating woman's character and bring her vividly to life.

Baker
& Taylor

Drawing on a series of interviews with McCarthy, as well as a collection of the author's letters and papers, this biography provides new insights into the life and innovative work of one of America's premier female authors. 20,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Clarkson Potter, [1992]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©1992
ISBN: 9780517564004
0517564009
Branch Call Number: 818x MCCAR BRIGH
Characteristics: xix, 714 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm
Notes: Includes index

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