Cousin Bella - The Whore of Minsk by Sherman Yellen

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Synopsis

"Cousin Bella -- The Whore of Minsk" recounts the life of prize-winning playwright Sherman Yellen’s immigrant relative, who as a young Jewish woman in Russia was sold into prostitution, rescued by the author’s indomitable grandmother, and immigrated to America where the most extraordinary drama of her life was yet to unfold. Bella, a childless woman, driven to acts of deception by her desperate love for another woman’s child, recounted her life to the author in her last years; a story confirmed by the author’s family. A gripping tale of a fierce love that led to child theft, incest, disgrace, and ultimately survival, "Cousin Bella" presents a vivid portrait of immigrant life in the first part of the 20th Century; a story where truth is both stranger and more astonishing than any fiction. Also included is Sherman Yellen's holiday classic, "A Christmas Lilly," a tender and poignant memory of a Jewish family's first Christmas tree in 1939, celebrating the author's compassionate and loving mother.
 

About Sherman Yellen

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Sherman Yellen, playwright, librettist, screenwriter, lyricist and now memoirist, was nominated for a Tony Award for his book for the 1970 musical "The Rothschilds," with a score by "Fiddler on the Roof" songwriters Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. Sherman wrote the libretto for the Will Holt and Gary William Freidman musical "Treasure Island," winner of the Broadway World Best Regional musical Award (2012). Among his many theater works is his satirical sketch "Delicious Indignities" which appeared in the New York and London revue "Oh! Calcutta!" His straight plays on and off Broadway include "New Gods for Lovers," "Strangers," and "December Fools." Sherman was librettist and lyricist for "Josephine Tonight," an original musical he wrote with the late composer Wally Harper about the early life of Josephine Baker, which The Chicago Sun-Times called "a shining new musical" and which the DC press praised for being "so hot that it sizzles." In his youth he worked as a librettist with legendary composer Richard Rodgers. Together with Sheldon Harnick they recently revised the Rodgers-Harnick musical "Rex" about Henry VIII. This new version had a successful premiere in Toronto. His teleplays have won him two Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award, first for his "John Adams, Lawyer" in the PBS series "The Adams Chronicles," and later for "An Early Frost," as well as an Emmy Nomination for "Beauty and the Beast" starring George C. Scott. Sherman's screenplay adaptations of classic novels range from "Great Expectations" to "Phantom of the Opera." He has received awards in Arts and Letters from Bard College, and he is a frequent contributor of essays on the arts, literature, and politics to online publications such as The Huffington Post. In recent years, Sherman has devoted much of his time to his memoir "Spotless," a recreation of his New York childhood in the 1930s and '40s and his young adulthood in the 1950s, which will be published later this year. Sherman is married, the father of two sons, Nicholas and Christopher, and has three much loved granddaughters. He has lived in London and Los Angeles, worked in Berlin and Budapest, but home was, is, and always will be New York City. "Cousin Bella" is available as an unabridged audiobook narrated by Robert Armin available through Amazon. "A Christmas Lilly" is included as a bonus recording with "Cousin Bella" or available separately.
 
Published January 17, 2014 59 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs.

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