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Elia Kazan: A Life

Elia Kazan: A Life
Your Price: $41.95 CDN
Author: Elia Kazan
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 860
Pub. Date: 1997
ISBN-10: 0306808048
ISBN-13: 9780306808043

About the Book:

Elia Kazan was the director of choice for Broadway dramas in the 1940s and 1950s, and for dramatic movies such as On the Waterfront and East of Eden. It was Kazan who first directed the most important plays of Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller. He was a talented novelist as well.

In his autobiography Elia Kazan, the distinguished director of stage and screen, told his life story with candour and fury — from his boyhood in Turkey to Hollywood and the founding of the Actors Studio. Often called the most brilliant and revealing of all Hollywood memoirs, Elia Kazan revealed his working relationships with his many collaborators, including the influential and respected theatre director and drama critic Harold Clurman, Lee Strasberg, Clifford Odets, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, James Dean, John Steinbeck and Darryl Zanuck, and described his directing style as he saw it, in terms of position, movement, pace, rhythm and his own limitations. Kazan also retraced his own decision to inform for the House Un-American Activities Committee, illuminating much of what may be obscured in McCarthy literature. Highly recommended.

What people say:

"This is the best autobiography I've read by a prominent American ... endlessly absorbing ... [Kazan is] tough enough to contain all that is ugly in his person and his experience, yet is sufficiently compassionate to give honest judgment on himself and others. It has the candor of confession which is possible only when the deepest wounds have healed and honesty can achieve what honesty so rarely arrives at — a rich and hearty flavor. [He] has written a book that offers the kind of human wealth we find in a major novel." — Norman Mailer, two time Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist

"The inside story of a great director's life and career. Filled with honest, valuable observations. Unsanitized for your inspection." — Frank Hauser, legendary theatre director

"[This] long, gutsy, and compulsively readable autobiography ... contains what is probably the most honest recapitulation of the House Un-American Activities Committee era to come from any of its participants ... Kazan retraces his own decision to inform, and illuminates much of what recent McCarthy literature obscures ... His memoir is also a delicious font of gossip, both kinky and beautifully told." — Wall Street Journal

"The most interesting and enduring achievement of Kazan's varied career ... This extraordinary book will last as long as the twisting souls of show people are irresistible to us." — New Republic

"Kazan's autobiography reads like a cross between What Makes Sammy Run and a novel by Theodore Dreiser... His collaborators are all here, in vividly detailed portraits: Harold Clurman, Lee Strasberg, Clifford Odets, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, James Dean, John Steibeck, and Darryl Zanuck ... [An] enduring capstone to his life as an American artist." — Film Quarterly

About the Author:

Elia Kazan (1909-2003), the immigrant child of a Greek rug merchant who became one of the most honoured and influential directors in Broadway and Hollywood history, was born in Istanbul. He graduated from Williams College and attended the Yale School of Drama before joining The Group Theatre. He was the founder of the Actors Studio, and he won three Tony Awards for direction (for All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, and J.B.) and two Academy Awards (for Gentleman's Agreement and On the Waterfront), as well as an honorary Oscar in 1999 for lifetime achievement.

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