Alive Inside the Wreck: A Biography of Nathaniel West by Joe Woodward

By Joe Woodward

From his identify to his collage transcript to his literary sort, Nathanael West used to be self-invented. Born Nathan Weinstein, the writer of the classics leave out Lonelyhearts (1933) and The Day of the Locust (1939) used to be an uncompromising artist captivated with writing definitely the right novel. He pursued his ardour from ny to California, flirting dangerously with the awful, faux-glamour of Hollywood because the nation suffered during the grim realities of the good melancholy. on the middle of a circle of energetic younger literary writers that incorporated Malcolm Cowley, William Carlos Williams, F. Scott Fitzgerald, S. J. Perelman, and Dashiell Hammett, West rose to develop into the most unique literary skills of the 20 th century—an comprehensive but unfortunately underappreciated grasp of the fast lyric novel.

West was once ultimately beginning to take pleasure in monetary balance as a Hollywood screenwriter while he died within the California wilderness. A notoriously undesirable motive force, he used to be racing again from a holiday in Mexico along with his younger bride of 8 months whilst he crashed at complete velocity into one other vehicle. He was once lifeless on the age of 37.

For this booklet, the 1st biography on West on my own in over forty years, Joe Woodward combed the files on the Huntington Library and the loo Hay Library at Brown college. At either he had entry to non-public letters, photos, unpublished manuscripts and corrected typescripts in addition to seldom-heard taped interviews with S. J. Perelman, Dalton Trumbo, Matthew Josephson and others.

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The following day a reporter from the Sydney Morning Herald reported that ‘Four of the company gave an unexpectedly clever female impersonation. ’ A successful Sydney season was followed by performances at Brisbane’s Empire Theatre. On 28 January 1921, The Australia Variety and Show World reported, ‘The Smart Set Diggers made their first appearance at the Empire on Saturday and were greeted with a crowded house at both sessions. ’ At some point between March 1921 and December 1922, Florence Broadhurst joined the all-male cast of returned soldiers now based in Toowoomba.

Janet Mosely was the subject of a portrait painted by Florence in 1961. She provided an insight into Florence the artist. ‘She was unapproachable, commanding and spoke with clipped, quick English tones through a stiff chin, lips and teeth. Her attitude was, “you have come to sit for me, now sit”. ’ Sally Fitzpatrick, who worked with Florence, said that the Florence she knew spoke at a million miles an hour in a mad gibberish, which was probably a result of her inability to hear as well as she once could.

At about the same time as Florence wrote this manifesto, she turned up for her first singing lessons with Kate Gratehead, a charitable woman who organised a host of musical events during World War I to raise money for Australian servicemen abroad. QX5 3/9/04 10:10 AM Page 37 Bookhouse The Orient, 1922–1927 student. Once a week, May hitched up her horse and buggy and took her younger sister to the Mount Perry Railway Station, where Florence caught the train to Bundaberg. Kate Gratehead was able to fine-tune the budding contralto, and Florence soon scooped up a clutch of awards at eisteddfods in Bundaberg and Toowomba.

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