Uncle Mame

The Life of Patrick Dennis

By Eric Myers
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312246556, 304pp.)

Publication Date: November 2000

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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Description

Edward Everett Tanner III, under his pseudonyms of Patrick Dennis and Virginia Rowans, was the author of sixteen novels - most of them bestsellers - including the classics Little Me and Genius. But, despite the success of his other works, he is by best known and best remembered for his most indelible creation - Auntie Mame.

Born and raised in the affluent suburbs of Chicago, Tanner moved to New York City after World War II and embarked upon a writing career. His first two books were published with a whimper - attracting few reviews and fewer sales - and his third book was rejected by nineteen publishers before being accepted at a relatively small house. But Auntie Mame became a phenomena spending two years on the bestseller lists, adapting into a successful play, movie, and later a musical. As a result of this and later successes, Tanner made millions and became the toast of a certain bohemian segment of Manhattan arts society. He also spent every cent he ever made. Torn between his wife and family and his own awakening realization of his homosexuality, he separated from his wife and moved to Mexico. By the early 70's, his writing career over, he embarked upon a new career - as a butler to some of the wealthiest families in America.

Based on extensive interviews with co-workers, friends, and relatives, Uncle Mame is a revealing, appealing portrait of a great American character. Easily the counterpart of such revered wits as P. G. Wodehouse and Evelyn Waugh, Dennis is not only the man who brought camp to the American mainstream but he also lived a life as wild, poignant, madcap, and intriguing as any of his own books.




About the Author

Eric Myers is the co-author of two previous books, Screen Deco and Forties Screen Style, and has written for The New York Times, Opera News, Time Out, and Quest, among many others. He is a film publicist and lives in New York City.

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