Among eminent American writers of the twentieth century, Lillian Hellman, who lived from 1905 until 1984, hammered out her own singular niche. She was first and foremost a playwright and was considered one of America's finest during the 1930s and 1940s, a period rich in serious dramatists (all male). She also wrote a number of highly regarded films. In the 1960s, when her plays were less well received, she abruptly abandoned the theater and wrote the first of three memoirs. The books were generally regarded to be distinguished literary works, all of them enjoying successes that went far beyond the reminiscences of most theater and film celebrities. Two of them, An Unfinished Woman (1969) and Pentimento (1973), continued to sell well decades after Hellman's death in 1984Less
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