Seeing Mary Plain by Frances Kiernan
A Life of Mary McCarthy

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...Kiernan has proved that, in the unlikely event that McCarthy's writing should be forgotten, if there is a question as to whether the story of her life will continue to be engrossing, the answer is yes.
-NY Times

Synopsis

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".
 

About Frances Kiernan

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A former editor at The New Yorker, Frances Kiernan is the author of Seeing Mary Plain: A Life of Mary McCarthy. She lives in New York City.
 
Published May 17, 2002 by W. W. Norton & Company. 846 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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NY Times

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Reviewed by LARISSA MacFARQUHAR on Mar 26 2000

...Kiernan has proved that, in the unlikely event that McCarthy's writing should be forgotten, if there is a question as to whether the story of her life will continue to be engrossing, the answer is yes.

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