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ISBN:0393323072
Author: Frances Kiernan
ISBN13: 978-0393323078
Title: Seeing Mary Plain: A Life of Mary McCarthy
Format: mbr docx lit lrf
ePUB size: 1559 kb
FB2 size: 1579 kb
DJVU size: 1438 kb
Language: English
Category: Arts and Literature
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (May 17, 2002)
Pages: 848

Seeing Mary Plain: A Life of Mary McCarthy by Frances Kiernan



5209 B 21. Personal Name: Kiernan, Frances. On this site it is impossible to download the book, read the book online or get the contents of a book. The administration of the site is not responsible for the content of the site. The data of catalog based on open source database. All rights are reserved by their owners. Download book Seeing Mary plain : a life of Mary McCarthy, Frances Kiernan.

Mary McCarthy led a fascinating life, and this very long biography makes you feel like you know the whole story. Although it is overly long (and I'm a slow reader), it's made up of quotations and excerpts from the many many famous people who knew her, along with some of her own writings. And the people she knew! We hear direct from no lesser persons than Norman Mailer, Vladimir Nabokov, Gore Vidal, Renata Adler, Susan Sontag, Clement Greenberg, Peggy Guggenheim, Edmund Wilson (who was also her second husband)! Alfred Kazin, Pauline Kael. She was involved with, or had something to say about every major social and political issue of mid-century. Her friendships were numerous and varied.

Seeing Mary plain: a life of Mary McCarthy. This massive biography of novelist and essayist McCarthy (1912-89) has a unique format. In addition to Kiernan's traditional narrative, the volume also reprints extensive excerpts from McCarthy's.

Seeing Mary Plain book. Start by marking Seeing Mary Plain: A Life of Mary McCarthy as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. Rev. of Seeing Mary Plain: A Life of Mary McCarthy by Frances Kiernan. Seeing Mary Plain: A Life of Mary McCarthy. Uploaded by. Laura Durnell.

Seeing Mary Plain: A Life of Mary McCarthy" by Frances Kiernan. A host of gossips weighs in on the left-wing scrapper and wickedly erotic novelist - - By Pam Rosenthal. The world of the novel, Mary McCarthy wrote, is the world according to the village gossip. Upon the publication of this book, Frances Kiernan's ''Seeing Mary Plain,'' the third substantial biography of Mary McCarthy in 12 years, the question must be asked: is McCarthy - a viperously clever but minor writer, much admired, much detested - now less read than read about? Was her life more alluring than her work?

I love Mary McCarthy's writing. Her prose is so knowing, and so smart that it takes my breath away. I didn't know anything about her at all until I read this book. It's a terrific read - McCarthy's life was flamboyant, daring, challenging. She was a feminist in the most modern sense of the word, and a devastatingly attractive woman. I believe her writing deserves to be better known and this biography may be the thing to get her some of that recognition, because the more you read about her, the more you want to see how it comes across in her text.

By the time she died of cancer in 1989, McCarthy was almost as famous for being famous as she was for her writing, of which the early Memories of a Catholic Girlhood may have been her best. Despite the repetition inherent in a biography of this length (845 pages), this is a fascinating look at one of our most. Nonfiction, Biography.

Seeing Mary Plain A Life of Mary McCarthy By FRANCES KIERNAN W. W. Norton & Company. On August 15, 1984, one month after a delicate operation to relieve the pressure of water on her brain, Mary McCarthy wrote her old friend Carmen Angleton. She had every reason to be pleased. Not only had her ataxia and headaches responded to surgery, but after four years of combating a punitive and highly publicized libel action mounted by the playwright Lillian Hellman, she was free to get on with her life. From then on, I did not arrange any more interviews with Mary McCarthy. There's nothing in the book that says you have to be an easy person to get along with. There's only something that says if you're going to be an artist, be a damn good one. When she came down that afternoon, she didn't seem frail-not a bit.

She's too private," Kiernan said, "but I could write a biography of Mary McCarthy," and that is how, in 1990, she "stumbled" into writing a biography of McCarthy, Seeing Mary Plain, which is quite a stumbling, as stumblings go (it's 845 pages long and wasn't published until 2000)

A revealing portrait of the dramatic life of writer and intellectual Mary McCarthy.

From her Partisan Review days to her controversial success as the author of The Group, to an epic libel battle with Lillian Hellman, Mary McCarthy brought a nineteenth-century scope and drama to her emblematic twentieth-century life. Dubbed by Time as "quite possibly the cleverest woman America has ever produced," McCarthy moved in a circle of ferociously sharp-tongued intellectuals―all of whom had plenty to say about this diamond in their midst. Frances Kiernan's biography does justice to one of the most controversial American intellectuals of the twentieth century. With interviews from dozens of McCarthy's friends, former lovers, literary and political comrades-in-arms, awestruck admirers, amused observers, and bitter adversaries, Seeing Mary Plain is rich in ironic judgment and eloquent testimony. A Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2000 and a Washington Post Book World "Rave". 20 pages of b/w photographs
Reviews: 7
Zorve
I love Mary McCarthy's writing. Her prose is so knowing, and so smart that it takes my breath away. I didn't know anything about her at all until I read this book. It's a terrific read - McCarthy's life was flamboyant, daring, challenging. She was a feminist in the most modern sense of the word, and a devastatingly attractive woman. I believe her writing deserves to be better known and this biography may be the thing to get her some of that recognition, because the more you read about her, the more you want to see how it comes across in her text. I am dying to get back into my Mary McCarthy books and see how far it was autobiographical. The writer of this book is never prurient but never produces anything that isn't fabulously titillating. A great gift for a literary girlfriend.
Arabella V.
The author takes a back seat and allows us to step into Mary McCarthy's life as if we were one of her circle of friends. Wonderfully detailed with quotes from the major literary lights of our day.
Grillador
Mary McCarthy led a fascinating life, and this very long biography makes you feel like you know the whole story. Although it is overly long (and I'm a slow reader), it's made up of quotations and excerpts from the many many famous people who knew her, along with some of her own writings. And the people she knew! We hear direct from no lesser persons than Norman Mailer, Vladimir Nabokov, Gore Vidal, Renata Adler, Susan Sontag, Clement Greenberg, Peggy Guggenheim, Edmund Wilson (who was also her second husband)! Alfred Kazin, Pauline Kael. The who's who list of Mary's illustrious friends is delicious; we read these people's up-close impressions of Mary at all the different stages of her life, and in the end, her death.

Kiernan herself is an extremely good writer: sympathetic, thoughtful, careful, never too wordy. She probably couldn't bring herself to cut any of this marvelous gossip and firsthand impression; and there were so many interesting stages of McCarthy's life that it would have been hard to leave anything out.

Mary McCarthy was a dynamo: a prolific writer, a teacher, a (for a time) single mother; married four times, with the last one a happy marriage. She put all of herself into her work, including managing the literary estate of her close friend Hannah Arendt. Through all this, she was a consummate entertainer, furnishing and decorating house after beautiful house, and apartments from Paris to New York to New England, and putting on grand and elegant dinner parties featuring her own first-rate cooking. It was as if her deprived childhood--McCarthy was orphaned at an early age and, during her formative years, raised by sadistic, loveless relatives--created in her a craving for the good life: abundant food, warm company, gracious living. Her many friends and acquaintances corroborate this impression; they all marveled at her energy, friendliness, and intellect, although there were some who were hurt by her barbed wit, and a few who didn't admire her so much.

The book is a delight to read, a long, intelligent gossipfest and a vivid portrait of a most interesting writer and human being with a fierce appetite for life.
Velellan
If Mary McCarthy's only accomplishment was to expose Lillian Hellman as a duplicitous Stalinist trollope, hers would still be a life worth celebrating. She was involved with, or had something to say about every major social and political issue of mid-century. Her friendships were numerous and varied. She was married four times (once to literary titan Edmund Wilson) and had many tempestuous affairs. It's disappointing, therefore, that this biography is such a disjointed and discursive hodge podge of gossip, hearsay, and innuendo. Not that those are bad things, but if that's all the attention McCarthy deserves why not just let Kitty Kelly do the book? While the author may have had a successful career as fiction editor of The New Yorker while it was being transformed into a middlebrow women's magazine, she lacks the skills necessary compose a biography of a subject as protean as Mary McCarthy.
Truthcliff
When I saw the unusual format of this book--so many quotes from other people!--I was put off. But as I read, I became ever more entranced and finished the book thinking that it was a tour de force. I had earlier read a bio of Edmund Wilson, so was somewhat familiar with the story of the explosive marriage of two giants of American letters. But this book grabbed me as much as if I were coming to it completely fresh. I was mightily impressed by how beautifully nuanced it is. I've read several works by McCarthy herself and this was a great holiday read to round out my appreciation of her.