The box score stands: Good reviews — fifteen per cent, bad reviews — twenty five per cent, brutal personal attacks — sixty percent. Sales: practically none… Nathaneal West


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Lonelyhearts : the screwball world of Nathanael West and Eileen McKenney Marion Meade Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010 Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xvi, 392 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., map ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

Nathanael West – novelist, screenwriter, playwright, devoted outdoorsman -was one of the most gifted and original writers of his generation, a comic artist whose insight into the brutalities of modern life proved prophetic. He is famous for two masterpieces, Miss Lonelyhearts (1933) and The Day of the Locust (1939). Seventy years later, The Day of the Locust remains the most penetrating novel ever written about Hollywood.

Eileen Mc Kenney – accidental muse, literary heroine – was the inspiration for her sister Ruth’s humorous stories, My Sister Eileen, which led to stage, film, and television adaptations, including Leonard Bernstein’s 1953 musical Wonderful Town. She grew up in Cleveland and moved to Manhattan at 21 in search of romance and adventure. She and her sister lived in a basement apartment in the Village with a street-level window into which men frequently peered.

Husband and wife were familiar with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker, Katharine White, S.J. Perelman, Bennett Cerf, and many of the literary, theatrical, and movie notables of their era. With Lonelyhearts, biographer Marion Meade restores West and McKenney to their rightful places in the rich cultural tapestry of interwar America.

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